Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves. (Genesis 3:7 CEB)
This whole chapter is so uncomfortable. God wishes to hide things from me. Child birth is a curse. This was someone’s understanding of the experience of our separation from God, but it is not mine.
As I read this verse, I reflect on the discomfort of moving from ignorance to knowledge, and not being able to go back to my naïveté. Two facebook friends regularly post about the horrible working conditions and injustice that is part of what has become a most basic part of my life–my cell phone. The minerals required for all that technology are mined under conditions like the Hebrews experienced in Egypt. This tablet that I am typing on was very likely worked on by a child too young to be working in a factory. Even though I still buy from cheaper retail stores, I cringe when I see ‘Made in Indonesia’ every time I pull out that shirt.
I can’t go back to not knowing the truth. And when I try to put it aside so that I can enjoy myself, or even just perform the tasks so necessary to my ministry, it still creeps back in. I wonder if that is why Adam and Eve couldn’t go back to Eden. No matter how beautiful and lush it is, there would always be that knowledge of what they had done, of how disappointed and angry Creator was, of how they pointed fingers at each other. They were forever changed. They could only move forward in a new reality. We know God didn’t abandon Adam and Eve because their story continues. But they were never the same. They could never make the same choices, or see each other in that naked abandon.
Perhaps, after this, they saw each other more deeply. Maybe they reflected more on the reality of the created order. They certainly knew Creator in a more complex way. After this, I wonder, did they love each other more deeply? Could they know the love of Creator in a new way, a love that is known not only in the gentle walks in the garden, but in the harshness of the desert; a love that sustains them even when they lose a son at the hands of the other? At the end of their days, did they look back thankful for the fullness of their lives?
Creator, Sustainer, may we not be paralysed by our knowledge, but delve more deeply into connected experience of all our sisters and brothers, ever mindful of the depth of our connectedness, through Spirit and ever in your love. AMEN
Day 2: Genesis 3