The full Lent text is from Hosea 14, verse 2-3 (King James Version):

“Take with you words and turn to the Lord: say until him Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless find mercy.”

The other night I had a dream: I was walking in the house of my God, the God of Abraham and whose name in English can be understood as: I AM.

I was younger than I am now, and my hair was long and falling straight down my back. There was no grey in it.

My God, whose face I could not see, was beside me, and He put His hand on my head, and stroked it. He spoke words of encouragement, like the father He is to me.

I had a biological father and I also had a step-father. But there were key parts of my childhood where I was fatherless. That feeling, which I will not describe today, shadowed much of my adult life and can still cast a cloud over a beautiful day.

So today’s Old Testament Lent verse talks to me with so much love. He has mercy on me.

All the sins I have committed as an adult, He forgives me for, because I come back to Him and say sorry.

He, the creator of the Universe, has adopted me as his child, because his first-born, Jesus Christ, has made mankind right with him through his victory over evil on the cross.

His love has conquered every bit of evil. So why is evil still with us? Why are there still fatherless children in the world? That I cannot know. But I witness to the fact that the God of Abraham has appeared to me as my father, my father who never goes AWOL, who never gets it wrong, who never sends confusing messages.

He is my father, my God, my beloved, thanks to Jesus his Son, my Saviour, who died to make me right with him. All these things in a mix I will never understand on this earth.

But I hold the hope that one day, we will be walking in His house, and He will tell me how He loves me, and I will see His face.