"When Israel was a child, then I loved him . . . . It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking

Long before any of us know or begin to appreciate God, he is compassionate father, our solicitous benefactor, diligent and persevering patron. He is all of these things, and more despite our ignorance of him or even our disregard for him. Like sun, rain and nutrient rich soil, the love of God is the pre-existing biosphere which makes love possible for us. The universe is wired to produce love in human life.

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