Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ancient Mother

An afternoon stroll
Walking, meandering
Spiraling inward.

A silent pull
Centering, pivoting
A woman’s curiosity.

Tree of Life
Welcoming, expanding
Fruit to feed immortality.

Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Prohibiting, restricting
Forbidden fruit—Elohim’s stipulation.

Out of the foliage
Slithering, sliding
Draped in glittering, scaly skin.

His target—a direct creation
Fashioned, sculpted
The last stroke of Elohim’s handiwork.

Former bright, shining one of the Hosts
Coaxing, enticing
Aware she could maneuver places he could not.

The subtle and deadly assault begins
Spitting doubts, hissing lies
He tempts the influential one.

The fork-tongued serpent contests
Wending, winding
Vaporous poison is emitted.

The helpmeet is restless
shifting, veering
She examines the fruit.

Did Elohim really say?”


The Genesis writer is an incredible storyteller and has caught us in the plot now. The writer informs us the woman saw that the fruit was good.

Good for three reasons:

She (remember she has not been named yet) sees that this fruit is good for food. Of course it was. God proclaimed all things good at the end of his Creation. It wasn’t the fruit that was evil. However, just because something seems good for food and is edible does not mean we should ingest it.

She sees that this fruit (probably not the traditional apple) is lovely to behold. Unblemished. Aesthetically pleasing. We are drawn to all things beautiful—we long for things that have the stamp of purity and loveliness about them. But not everything is as it seems to the eye.

She saw (inferred, discerned) that the fruit was good for gaining wisdom. Her intellect was stirred and her curiosity heightened. But gaining wisdom is a far cry from “being like God”.

She began to covet. She began to want what she thought she could not have. She began to desire the forbidden.

And the mental dance commenced.

What was the Lord God hiding? What was he withholding? What had he been denying Adam and her? Why was God forbidding them to eat good, lovely, and stimulating fruit?

The snake begins to writhe; the subtlety turns to accusation. He is twisting the truth of God. He is baiting the trap. He wants the woman snared quickly, long before the cool of the day.

“You will not die. You will simply become like God,” he hissed.

The serpent told a warped version of the truth.

The woman is beguiled.

Deceived.

She seizes the opportunity. She thinks only of gain and covets to be like Lord-God; however, we must remember she was already like Him. She had been made in his image.

She eats.

And she turns to Adam and persuades him to take a bite.

What would our Ancient Mother say to us now?
If she could speak to us—what would she advise?

On this side of the garden, this side of history, what would she counsel?

She has received some hard repercussions through history. She has been blamed, accused, avoided, scorned, reviled and hated.

But she is our mother. When Adam named her (after the Fall), he named her Eve—Mother of all Living.

We are her living.

As our mother she has lessons for us to learn from her poor choices. She has principles for us to glean from her undiscerning decisions.

She would want us to pay attention regardless of our ages or the seasons of our lives.

Why?

Our mother lost many things that fateful day:

Her innocence. She experienced shame.

Her influence. Rarely would Adam heed her counsel now.

Her relationships. Fault lines, canyons and mountains now existed in her relationships.

Her immortality. Death was now inevitable. .

The serpent still slithers.

The methods and weapons he used in the garden are still in his arsenal today, and he has had thousands upon thousands of years to hone them.

Our Ancient Mother is whispering, “Don’t be deceived, my children.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Transparency

Heavenly Father,

Flood our shadowed souls with your brilliant light.

Today may we begin to understand that you call us to be a transparent people.

Unmasked and unveiled.

You do not call us to exploit and exhibit every detail of our lives. You call us to disclose and show them to you.

When we bring our dark details before you,
when our shadows are opened to you,
when they are admitted into your presence you dispel the darkness.

Transparency begins with you. No matter what we bring to you, your love and faithfulness never changes. With and through you we gain the security and confidence to be transparent with others. When our security is rooted in your abounding, grace-filled love we can begin to be who we really are. We begin to live out our purpose because you have seen us and loved us.

Enable us, Father, to be courageous enough to face our shadows. When we try to hide we create more darkness. We put up blinds and curtains in an attempt to close out others. We don't want them to see our shadows. In doing this we block out part of the light. Then we have to try and create light inside. We turn on lamps and light candles--but they are never quite enough. They never produce the kind of light that floods in when we bare our windows--pull back the curtains and raise the blinds.

It is our nature now to hide. We have been hiding since the Garden of Eden--following Adam and Eve's example. Hiding because we are exposed and ashamed. We attempt to cover ourselves. We attempt to cover our shame.

Our attempts are inadequate.

Like Adam and Eve you call out to us. You ask us to come out of hiding into the light. You did not leave Adam and Eve naked. You did not leave them with their shame uncovered. No, you covered them. You enveloped them in the garments of grace.

Transparency is not revealing everything to everyone. Transparency is coming out of hiding and allowing You to cover and clothe our naked shame.

You will call us out of hiding. You will ask us to come out of the shadows. To stand exposed for a brief moment before you. Then you will cover us.

Help us, God. We are afraid. We are frightened of transparency. We are afraid of disclosure. We are afraid of removing our masks. We are afraid of being unveiled. We don't want others to see us naked. But that is not what you ask of us. Only before you must we stand naked.

Unveil us, Almighty God. then clothe us with the garments of your grace so that we might go out among others who are hurting and ashamed. Cover us, so we might bring others to you to be clothed and covered.

Unmask us, Heavenly Father. Make us transparent. Give us the strength and courage to open our blinds and curtains so others might see what you are doing in us and be encouraged.

And in our transparency may you be glorified and lifted high for all to see.

Amen and amen.