How the stories of the Bible manage to fly like an arrow straight to the heart of the human condition!
The description of God “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” is so evocative. If you ask most people where they experience God most deeply, they rarely say “in church”, “at a meeting”, or even “reading the Bible”. Their first response is usually something like: “walking in the hills”, “by the seashore”, “in the woods”, “at the lakeside”, or “sitting quietly in my favourite spot in the garden”. In a quiet moment, surrounded by the wonder and beauty of nature, the presence of the Lord can be felt so profoundly.
In this particular story, it was unwelcome. Scared of being found out, guilty because he’d done something wrong, Adam hid from God.
It seems so daft to try to hide from God, but we do it. Running away from ourselves, dodging reality, refusing to face the truth – these are all different names for the thing Adam did.
And God calls: “Adam! Where are you?”
It is a heart-breaking moment; losing touch with love, drifting out of reach of the one who can make us whole, turning away from hope and peace – this is what it means to lose our integrity. This is how humanity starts to disintegrate.
And when God finally catches up with Adam, and reality confronts him in the shape of some very unwelcome questions, what does he do? He blames his wife.
O loving Lord, you see us and you know us. You, the God who made us, search us out and find us. You see through our pretences; our evasions mean nothing to you. You understand us, because you see and know who we really are. There is no need to put on an act for you – and no point in trying to. You are the only one in the whole of our lives who will never be taken in, who will always see the heart of us, who will always understand. Thank you for loving us, thank you for coming to find us, thank you for really seeing us. As we sit quietly here with you now, may the truth of who you are touch the truth of who we are and, in making the connection, make us whole. In Jesus’ holy name; Amen.