From the time I was a small child, I heard the creation story from the Bible and saw it acted out on flannel graph displays (Remember those? The flat, little one-dimensional characters we used before the days of the internet?). As an innocent four-year-old little girl, I experienced the drama and emotion of the Creation story as yes, miraculous, but it always had such a dramatic let-down.
There we were, in front of the flannel graph display, hearing about the tenderness of God’s creative hands creating this human being, then wham!… out came the snake and the end result of all these wonderful days of creating led to THIS point:
- the woman sinned
- she made the man sin too
- then God sent them away, out of the Garden.
End of story. What had been “very good,” a few verses earlier suddenly became extremely—and totally—bad.
One of the earliest questions I remember asking after each flannel graphs display was this: “Do you think God was sad we were created?”
I talked this week with a mother whose offspring, the boy she nursed at her breast and carries her DNA, has taken a dark turn towards disordered sexual choices. As we sat together, she cried, raged and asked questions that revealed the precarious edges of hope and despair she walks daily. Now the most loving thing she, as a mother, can do is let go, release and entrust her son to his Creator.
As we talked, I returned to the original creation story and we talked about how hard it is to “let go” and “release” our children in their own sexual journeys. Her passion rose with these words, “I will forever cherish the beauty of what his life has brought to me, even knowing his choices will create his own pain-filled journey home.”
This young man carries the image of his mother and father, but far deeper and embedded within him is the image of God. Yes, we can make choices that scar, cloud and hide that image, but never is God sorry we exist. Instead God is forever risking letting us go in order to give us the choice to return.
I can only imagine that the hardest moment in creation was watching those beautiful created beings turn and walk away. What if God’s image is embedded in each of us to remind us what we are returning to?
We were not created from nothing. We were created from the very essence of God. We exist only because God exists at the very core of who we are. If we remove God’s essence from us, we would cease to exist.
Genesis – a fresh look at beginnings and our Creator who will risk everything to remind us we are loved.