“I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely.” Hosea 14: 4

Unbeknownst to The Lumineers, I’ve heard a most profound message from God in their
song Stubborn Love. In it, God sings a love song to me. God begins with:

She’ll lie and steal and cheat
And beg you from her knees
Make you think she means it this time
She’ll tear a hole in you the one you can’t repair
But I still love her
I don’t really care

As I listen to this song, my soul is comforted. My heart heals a little more and I can open
myself just a little more to rest in a stubborn love’s embrace. Every day, I become more
aware that God knows my sins and shadows better than I probably know them.
Consistently, I hurt God due to my actions or inactions that separate us. God’s stubborn
dedication to me, however, urges God to continue with God´s song to me, “And I won’t
leave until you come downstairs.” Figuratively, God invites me to come with all my faults
and all the various ways I separate myself from God and others – even from myself.
Through all the stumbling, again and again, God repeats to me, “So keep your head up, my

We hear the same message in today’s readings, especially in the reading from Hosea. God
reminds me – urges me – to come back to God even in my abandonment of God.
Probably, especially then. Instead of responding with anger, God understands my periods
of defection and rejection as a condition to be healed by mercy. Unceasingly, God
responds to me this way. Every. Single. Time. Thanks truly be to God.

God of Mercy, teach me this Lent to hear your unending love for me. May the healing love
you offer me so freely be reflected in my life. Thank you. Amen.

Vivian Valencia