Redeeming Love in Troubled Times | Daily News

Redeeming Love in Troubled Times

Scenes from the movie Redeeming Love
Scenes from the movie Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love (released January 2022) is based on a best-selling novel by Francine Rivers, which was inspired by the Old Testament book of Hosea (Bible). The novel, first released in 1991, has sold more than three million copies and been published in 30-plus languages.

On the surface, Redeeming Love is a story about tragedy, self-worth, and the love of a man named Michael Hosea. Allegorically, the movie’s message soars across many dimensions. That’s because it’s a story that we can all relate to at some stage in our lives - our depravity, hopelessness, and continual desire to return to the sin that dominates our mind. More significantly, it’s a story about an infinitely loving God who pursues us, repeatedly (as the triune God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in spite of our wavering faith. God’s love is a mind-blowing love that defies human logic, which is beautifully narrated in this American movie. It was directed by D.J. Caruso and produced by several faith based filmmakers including Roma Downey, Cindy Bond, David A.R. White and Brittany Yost.

Michael Hosea (Tom Lewis) is a 26-year-old hard-working man who owns a picturesque farm near a small wooden cottage in 1850s California. The new movie Redeeming Love (PG-13) tells the remarkable story of Michael’s incredible pursuit of Angel (Abigail Cowen)) who repeatedly rejects his love and the idea of a better life. He is lonely and single. He prays often that God will bring him a wife. Michael’s prayers become a reality one day when he spots a woman walking slowly through the town of Paradise. She’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. The shocking news about her profession doesn’t deter Michael, who believes God has revealed his future wife to him. Her name is Angel which is ironic considering she is a whore. Her life of sexual slavery – will not stop Michael from loving her.

In the film’s opening scene, Michael visits Angel in the brothel, fully clothed and ready to deliver a simple message: He’s not interested in sex. “I’m going to marry you. Let me rescue you from this place.” She kicks him out of the room, but later agrees to his proposal after a cruel customer beats her to the point of death. She and Michael live together in a scenic farm cottage, miles from town. Life is temporarily beautiful for Angel and Michael. The cinematographer has brilliantly captured the beauty of nature, which infuses the power of creation which we often fail to appreciate- especially in our city life. For Angel the tug of her former life gives her nightmares, and leads her to run away. She hitches a ride in a horse wagon from Michaels friend Paul- this character in the movie, though appearing for a few scenes, is also an important reminder of what it means to have a friend. Even our friends are frail at times because they are humans too.

Many will wonder why Angel can’t accept a better life and the true love of a good man? She is traumatized by her past and perceived guilt. Guilt is aversive like shame—has been described as a self-conscious emotion, involving reflection on oneself. People may feel guilt for a variety of reasons, including acts they have committed, a failure to do something they should have done, or thoughts that they think are morally wrong.

Guilt is self-focused but also highly socially relevant: It’s thought to serve important interpersonal functions by, for example, encouraging the repair of valuable relationships and discouraging acts that could damage them. Dissociation, depression, and other mood disorders are common among prostituted women in street, escort, and strip club prostitution even today. Dissociation in prostitution results from both childhood sexual violence and sexual violence in adult prostitution. Throughout history whatever the country- it is oppression that arises from gender inequality, where women are less valued, less powerful, and less in control than men.

Angel later confesses she was taken to the brothel at age eight. In real life the girls who become prostitutes when young women were once emotionally adrift, had no clear concept of their predestined female role. Many realized that sex was a commodity with which they could bargain for the longed-for emotional contact, and also for more tangible rewards. This is truer in Sri Lanka where prostitutes desire an “easy” and “luxury” life which they can never make on a monthly wage.

In Redeeming Love- the girls felt worthless and insecure. Though they paraded in mink coats and made a point of being seen in elite company, they were forever afraid that the world was ready to laugh at them. To dull their anxiety they sought relief in drink. Today many use narcotic substances. They hide their real family background for shame, as they feel condemned by society. Why men hire prostitutes is another day’s article.

By the film’s halfway point, Angel and Michael are married and living on the farm, although they’re sleeping in separate beds due to Michael’s desire for her to fall in love with him. This movie teaches holding onto past pain can also be hazardous to your physical health. A number of studies have linked continuing resentment and grudges to high blood pressure, risks for heart disease, and cognitive decline. In short, bitterness is bad for your health. The film also reminds of a spiritual truth that people often stay mired in anger and resentment, feeling betrayed and victimized long after the other person has ceased to be a part of their lives. Francine Rivers in her book encourages -to make a decision to make a difference. That may be forgiving and being the first to reach out to the other. But forgiving and letting go can lighten the load on your body and your spirit. Releasing the anger and resentment, stopping the rumination and revenge can make room for hope and compassion and an abundance of joy in your life.

Thankfully in Redeeming Love, the former prostitute Angel releases her past, decides to accept God’s forgiveness and embraces Michaels love. The couple begins a new life on the farm again, enriched with greater love. This amazing movie also talks about the injustice of slavery and the cruelty of child abuse. It reminds us like in the bygone eras there are still Pharisees who judge and accuse others, robed in their self-righteousness. They are unable to accept others and understand their difficult past circumstances. I personally endorse that there is goodness in every human being, if we are patient and loving to find it- like Michal did in this movie. Consistent love can change people. Like the film challenges its viewers there is always a second chance and everyone deserves it, even prostitutes. Because Jesus Christ loved everyone at the cross of Calvary. We have previously enjoyed other romantic movies like Scent of a Woman. But Redeeming Love is in another realm of magnificence and one of the best English movies in the past decade. All the cast delivered a sterling performance.

Add new comment