…the liminal figure who stands not to embody a status system of the religious, or a system of control, or a system that avoids suffering but who stands to call followers back into places where the conventional avenues of status and success don’t count. In these spaces, control no longer matters, pain is faced and suffering and loss are blessed, and the betwixt and between of life are in fact eh very place that the sacred dwells.
God then asks a simple question of them: Who told you that you were naked.
There is no verbal response or answer given. I imagine, that the only thing that took place was that awkward and blank stare that parents receive from their children upon asking them who left all the lights on in the house.
Their was no answer needed, because in Adam’s heart, he was already experiencing the answer to the question. You see… it was Adam who told Adam that he was naked.
The shame that Adam was experiencing for partaking in more than what was needed created a gap in how Adam saw himself.
Shame had caused a separation to be experienced within his being… one that caused him to hide behind the covering of clothing and the foliage of the garden. This was the first time that Adam and Eve felt that they were not enough, and something more was needed than what they had already been given.
The situation spirals as Adams response to having to confront his own shame leads to deflection and justification of his actions as he basically says that it was God who had decided that all he had was not good until ‘she’ came along. It was God’s fault for disrupting Adams bachelor life in the garden with all the plants and animals. It was God’s who had decided to create Eve…
And it was in that moment, with finger pointed to Eve, that I can see Adam turning his head towards her and catching her eye for the first time since letting his shame take control of his tongue, that he saw that she too now felt his shame against her…
Before these few critical moments in the human story, all that was understood was a deep, close intimacy with nothing between man and woman. This reality which none of us have experienced in this life, gave way to a new ‘knowing’… if you will… as they now understood something that we know all to well… separation.
It is being in the same bed with someone, and feeling as if you are universes apart.
It is words articulated clearly that fall on deaf ears.
It is giving the best of what you have, only to discover that it doesn’t seem to be what they need.
Separation… birthed from our response to the shame of not being content with who we are and what we have that is what we must deal with every day as we seek to get back to a lost innocence, and a life that we know could be much simpler than all that we have created it to be.