The story of our creation as man and woman is a story of love. We can only understand this story once we understand something about God. God is communion of Persons, a Trinity: three unique Persons yet one God. God the Father pours forth His Love to God the Son, and the Love that exists between them is so powerful that from it springs the Holy Spirit. God then created us in this Trinitarian Image to be a communion of persons giving ourselves to one another in an interdependent exchange of love. But this immense reality is so difficult to see and even more difficult to live out. Unfortunately we can only see, this all too familiar story of creation through the eyes of sin and brokenness. Let us try to see it today with new eyes.
God creates Adam, places him in Eden, and gives him the command to call and name the creatures picking one to be his helper. Despite his efforts he does not find a helper fit for him. So God makes Woman. It is no mistake that we were fashioned from his rib. We were not made from his head to be above him or his feet to be beneath him but from his rib - the part closest to his heart, to be beside him. When he sees Woman he cries out, “AH! Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.” It's as if he is looking at the innermost part of himself and he knows he was created to be with this woman and she ti be with him. At last he has found communion, his other self, his helper.
What does it mean to be someone’s helper? The Hebrew word here is Ezer. The only other time we see it in scripture it refers to God himself saving people from life threatening situations.
Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life (Psalm 54:4)
Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20).
I think there is a temptation when we read this story to think that woman was somehow created to do the laundry and cook the meals, to somehow be subservient. But those psalms paint a much bigger picture. We are Adam’s partner in battle. We are there to be life giving with him. It is the two together that bear God’s Image to the world.
So why is this so hard? Quite simply, we’re sinners! It’s not easy to bear God’s image. Furthermore, there is so much brokenness surrounding the family. That brokenness has caused us to put up huge walls in our hearts and in our lives and not just when it comes to the opposite sex. Being in communion necessarily requires being open to receiving love from another. The passage above ends by saying, “the were naked and not ashamed.” This nakedness is not just in the body but also in the heart.
I think we all know the constant temptation to hide our hearts. There is a multi-billion dollar industry telling women to hide: to be thinner, to be more beautiful, to be more crafty, to be better mom’s and better friends. Inside, we know that we are broken, and that these societal demands are really unattainable, so we hide. This is the opposite of what God had planned.
St. John Paul II was constantly quoting the document, “Joy and hope” where it says, “man...cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” We were made for communion, to be constantly giving. Not the kind of giving that causes stress and loss of self. The kind of giving that helps us reveal who God is to the world. This sort of gift helps others to relax. When we love others for the other sake both we and they are free to simply be. But we cannot give what we do not have. The challenge in this Scripture is to fall in love with God. Only He can teach you how to be a communion of persons. Only He can show you the dignity of your creation. Only He can heal.
Reflect: The challenge in this Scripture is to fall in love with God. Only He can teach you how to be a communion of persons. Only He can show you the dignity of your creation. Only He can heal.
Act: Do you ever think about the fact that you were made to love as God loves?