08.2 What’s the Bible All About… intimacy


Up to the point where we discover that Adam’s ‘aloneness’ was the final act of creation that needed to be completed, he found himself in pure relationship with his Creator, himself, and with nature. Nothing was lacking in these areas, and there was no room for sorrow or pain or fear. This is already a foreign concept to us as as we look at the world around us… or in the mirror… or to the heavens for true natural connection. Be that as it is… God decided to gift Adam with another person that he would be able to experience life to the fullest with. Enter… Eve.

Being that the condition of the human heart at the beginning of Adam and Eve’s relationship was pure, we can only imagine that the first time that he laid eyes on her, that his heart was flooded with emotions and passions that burned hot. Imagine for a moment what it was like the first time Adam drew close to her with an unguarded heart… the first time he felt her breath. The first time he touched her skin. The first time that… he ‘knew’ her.

The Bible often times uses the phrase, ‘person A knew person B’ as a way to say that they had sexual relations. This is true. But as I explained above, the idea of ‘knowing’ … of ‘yada’ covers the whole landscape of human experience. We can be confident in the fact that when Adam ‘knew’ Eve, it was at the most intimate and unguarded of places within the human heart. Again… while we long for this type of relationship… truth is… we haven’t experienced in the same way that they did. We have too much baggage in our hearts.

So… what happened?

The story goes, that God basically said to Adam and Eve… “Here it is… here you are… Here I am… enjoy!” Only area to be mindful of was a tree in the middle of the garden that they needed to avoid. And…

They didn’t.

The choice was made to choose more than they were given, to leave contentment behind… and in a blink of an eye, there eyes were opened to what they left behind… and all of the sudden the reality of shame entered into the picture.

Shame is that part of life that trips up our contentment with who we are. No more… no less suddenly becomes, what I have isn’t enough.

Adam and Eve bought into the lie that who they are… and what they have… isn’t enough. It changed their life… and the lives of all who followed forever.

Their eyes were opened to their nakedness. They were exposed. We don’t like being exposed. In that moment, they needed to run to their creator for healing… instead, they hid at the sound of His approach.

The lesson that we need to draw from the early story of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden is that intimacy was lost… and every person born since has felt the void that was left in it’s wake.  In fact, every story in the Scriptures following Genesis 3 ties back to this event as we humans have not been able to get back to the innocence of the garden.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve experienced a perfect intimacy with their creator, their self, each other, and the world around them.  They experienced life in a way that you and I have never experienced… and yet it calls to us as an echo in our soul.

After the fall, what Adam and Eve experienced is much more familiar to us.  Intimacy was lost as the ultimate reality… and in its place, separation became the norm.  Separation from their creator, from themselves, from each other, and from the world around them.  Despite how strong we think that we are, to this day separation is the easiest part of life to feed and to maintain.  It takes very little for two people in the same room to feel universes apart.  It takes very little for someone looking in the mirror to feel as if they are not enough.  It takes very little for someone sitting amidst a house full of belongings to feel as if they still don’t have everything that they need.

When we read in the Scriptures, before the fall, that Adam knew Eve… we can understand that in a time when there was no separation, that every part of that relationship was deep and that understanding and belonging was the norm.

Adam knew Eve.

Eve knew Adam.

Adam and Eve knew their God.

Adam and Eve knew who they were.

Adam and Eve knew the world around them.

Nothing was missing, or lacking.  Heaven was experienced in the day to day of life.

It was the given into temptation of discontentment to know more than what they had been given that all of the sudden put them in a place where purity and innocence was lost.

Pure knowing… or pure intimacy was no longer enough, because a hunger for more and more needed to be satisfied.

Discontentment and separation created a sense of shame as they could no longer stand in their nakedness.  Deflection and blame followed in the story followed.  And within one generation we see jealousy and violence taking hold of the human heart… and ever since then, humanity has been on a journey to satisfy this ever growing hunger for more of things that we do not need.

Shame is the one part of reality that must be examined if you are to begin to uproot that which keeps you from experiencing intimacy with yourself, others and the rest of the world. Feelings of shame will inhibit you from being able to live life from a place of simplicity because it will undermine your sense that who you are and what you have is more than enough.

In the story of Adam and Eve, we discover that after eating of the fruit that they were given guidance not to eat, and upon hearing God moving close by, the couples first response was simply to hide their nakedness… and hide their being. God calls out to them and inquires as to the reason that they hid. Adam’s reply was that they heard God coming and they hid… because they were naked.


08.1 What’s the Bible All About… Alone

garden-of-eden-amazing-fresh-green-lanscape-nature-waterfall-wildOne of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There is more wrapped into these couple of chapters at the beginning of Genesis that lay out the true condition of the human heart in its purest sense than anything that I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know what your experience with this story is… whether you’ve been taught that it is a literal historical even… or a metaphorical image of early humanity. I simply want to unpack some of the lessons that I have gleaned from it over the years, and let the chips fall where they may. This isn’t a careful exegete of the text, simply an unfolding of the events that led us from a place of innocence to the often times messy existence we find ourselves in on a daily basis in our relationship with the world around us.

Somewhere deep within the fabric of who we are as people, is a sense that we were created for intimacy… for unguarded connection. We try connect this desire with the people, places and things that we interact with on a daily basis, often times with mixed results.

Before I go any further into this conversation, it is important that I pause first and define a couple things regarding intimacy since I believe it is one of those words that has been saturated with various meanings in our culture.

When I speak of ‘intimacy’, I am referring to the idea that all of us desire to ‘know’ and ‘be known’ in a pure and unguarded way. In the Hebrew language, the word ‘yada’ means, ‘to know’. It is the root word to over 600 other experiential words in Hebrew that cover the whole landscape of our emotions, thoughts, and activities.

Anything or anyone that we say, ‘we know’ can be described in some form of ‘yada’. I know… football. I know… pizza. I know how to bake bread… or build a work bench. There are some areas of life that we know very well… and others… not so much.

To say that you ‘know’ something or someone is basically saying… ‘I got this.’ Now, that may be true. Some people think they know something, when really they are just into the idea of it. Someone may say that they know you… when in reality… they don’t.

To be truly intimate with someone means that we can say, that we know them… and they know us… unguarded… for who we are. You would think that with over 7 billion people on the planet, our odds would be pretty good that we’d be able to land in a relationship with at least one of them that we can say that intimacy flourishes. For many, if not most of us, however… this is not the case. Truth is… we struggle. Intimacy doesn’t seem to come naturally. We are not able to open ourselves completely to another, and find ourselves frustrated when the person or people we are with seem to be very distant from us.

If we are hardwired for this kind of intimacy, why is it so difficult?

I believe the story of Adam and Eve contains some of the gems we need to uncover to understand the reason intimacy often seems, at best, just beyond our reach.

In the beginning… it was all good.

Except for one thing… Adam was alone.

(photo courtesy of http://storytechsystems.com/)