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He shaped me before I had form;
molded me with great eternal hands;
taught me how to breathe
and my heart how to beat.
He took my little soul up
by the arms and showed me how
to walk; fed me, gave me strength.
He loved me like no other
ever would or could,

and still I ran away. I learned
to worship at another altar. Turned
the mirror into my sky and forgot
he stood behind it. Said
"My Lord," to the things I had done
and looked to them for all my help.
Loved myself and only me.

What a child you are, he said.
The more I call, the more you turn away.
I loved you, and you lusted after
everything I gave to you, though
you deserved nothing. Therefore
my anger burns, and justice
must be made,

but when I roar, take heed:
come trembling back, because I
love you still.

And like a lion he devoured and
poured his wrath until that righteous
burning anger ran completely dry.
Not one bit of it reached me.
I stood and watched, because
another took my place
that I might tremble
and return.

Come child, he said,
and do not fear. What have I
to do with idols? It is I
who answers and looks after you,
and I who has healed you,
and I who will make you grow
strong in my shadow.

Come to me, he said.
I love you freely.

A/N: Hosea 11-14
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