Monday, February 16, 2009

Walls come falling down

In chapter 18 Michael shares some of his past with Angel. Something inside her stirs and she is sad for him. She is beginning to let a couple of walls down and Michael notices it. On their journey home from Sacramento they meet a family who needs help. Michael helps them of course and Angel is very uneasy about the whole situation. She immediately lets them know she was a prostitute when the conversation arises and she thinks it will scare them away, but it doesn’t. She doesn’t want to like these nice people so she tries to push them away. The Altman’s are not like the people Angel is used to. Angel doesn’t understand how these people can like her when they don’t even know her or what she’s done. She’s never had someone like Miriam want to be friends with her. Have you ever felt unworthy of someone’s love or friendship? Is this feeling holding you back from accepting the grace and love that God is offering you? Michael invites the Altman’s to stay with them for a while at their cabin and this makes Angel even more skeptical of how everything will work out for her for good. The youngest child Ruth takes to Angel very quickly and it makes Angel uneasy. Duke had made sure when she was younger that she wouldn’t ever get pregnant again. At Michael’s mention of them having one of their own she is saddened. Michael doesn’t know yet that she can’t have children and what he will think when he finds out scares her.

In chapter’s 19 & 20 we get to know the Altman’s. Angel begins to love them and they love her. She continues to think it is all too good to be true. She doesn’t believe people can be so nice without wanting something back in return. Do you accept gifts freely or do you feel like you always have to repay someone? Do you feel like if someone gives you a gift then you “owe” them something? Angel has mixed feelings it seems when the Altman’s decide to stay. I think deep down she is glad but she is still trying to push them away because she is convinced the friendships won’t last. She finally admits to herself that she is falling in love with Michael. I love reading about her feelings towards Michael in these chapters and what she thinks when she looks at him. She is still very scared of these feelings inside of her and thinks they will be used against her if she shares them.

In chapter 21 she is convinced to tell Michael all the skeletons in her closet. She thinks that then it will finally prove her right that his love won’t last. Michael’s description of her being the bird trying to get back in the cage after she has been freed at the end of chapter 20 is exactly what she is doing. She tells him her awful past hoping to push him away so that she won’t be hurt anymore and really all she does is draw him closer. Michael feels such heartache and pain for her. He loves her and wants her to know that nothing she can do is beyond the love that God gives to her freely. He makes her the wind chime in such a beautiful act of forgiveness and grace. He does exactly the opposite of what she expects changing all her pre-conceived notions about men. She fully acknowledges now that she loves him but won’t admit it to him. I feel that Michael has a sense at this point what she is feeling on the inside though and that is why he chooses to make love to her again finally. He can tell she is finally ready. It is beautiful what happens between them here at the end where Angel is finally able to shed a tear. Chapter 21 ends with Angel leaving and we have to read on to Chapter 22 to see what happens next. It is somewhat expected because of her behavior in the past that as soon as Michael breaks down more walls she gets scared and runs away. Have you ever felt like you were to much of a sinner to be forgiven? Have you ever thought, “Well you just don’t know what I’ve done, then you would understand that God doesn’t care about me?” If you have felt this way I hope this book helps you to realize that nothing you can do is beyond the redeeming love our God in heaven has for you.

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