Speaking Of Life 3045 | A Broken Rib and a Handful of Dirt
“And it was good…” This is the bass note of the Creation account in Genesis 1. God creates the light and the dark, the sea and land, animal and plant life, and finally humanity. Over and over he says that it is good – the Hebrew word “tov” we may be familiar with hearing in the phrase “Mazel Tov.” Goodness is a steady, guiding note in the symphony of creation.
And then we hear the note go slightly off for the first time in chapter 2:
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”
Genesis 2:18 (NRSV)
There seems to be a match for everything – mates for the animals, the sea and the land, the light and the dark, and yet this balance is thrown off when God creates the solitary king of this new universe, Adam.
The first time that God says something is “not good” or “incomplete” is when he sees a lack of relationship. Then the strange and beautiful story of God making Eve from one of Adam’s ribs follows – the story of the first surgery.
Adam, as the anesthesia wore off, greets Eve:
This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh
Genesis 2:23 (NRSV)
This is the relationship of peers – enriching, challenging, whole. God made us in his image, and God within himself is Trinity in relationship – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Relationship is intrinsic to who he is and therefore “not good” if it is not in our lives.
That’s not to say that everyone will get married. Many of the great saints throughout history were not. The point is that something in us is “not good,” not fully functioning when we are out of relationship. Our Christian life was never meant to be in solitude, or on a self-focused spiritual journey; it is meant to be in relationship with others. If it is not in relationship, it is not real—even though human relationships can sometimes be exasperating and tiring.
But they are also healing, and that can be easy to forget. We aren’t fully home, fully realized, or fully human until we’re in relationship with each other. God knew this and knew the pain and joy relationships would cause—even before he took that handful of dirt and made it Adam.
Are you feeling lonely, incomplete, solitary? Seek out fellowship, even if it is imperfect. Are you feeling super-spiritual, centered, and “deep”? Seek out fellowship and see if it is real. That’s the real acid test.
We were created in relationship and born for it. We need God and we need each other. It’s that simple.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.