Saturday, September 03, 2005


[Living in relationship with the Living God]

Good morning. I am the Mother of All Living. But you can call me Eve.

What do you think of my story? Do you know it? Or do you just think you know it? Let me let you in on a few secrets: my story has nothing whatsoever to do with science or history. In fact, I can’t even tell you for sure if I really existed! And I find it infinitely silly when people look at my tale – full of talking animals, fruit that holds the power over life and knowledge, and one severely anthropomorphic deity – and try to see it as some kind of historical fact. Come now, my children. You see elements such as these in other works and immediately you understand they are not literal. Why do you force my story to be so many things it is not?

Oh, dear – excuse me. I’ve already gone off on one of my tirades and you’re just sitting there pleasantly waiting to hear what I have to say. Forgive me. I want to tell you about why I am there, not why I’m not.

I woke up one beautiful, sunny day and saw a rather hairy creature standing before me, mouth agape. He pointed at me and said, “Wo-man.” I stood up, smoothed my hair, put out my hand, and said, “How do you do?”

From then on, I suppose, he had a companion worthy of him, but I’m not so sure it worked both ways. I found more to talk about with the animals, usually, although I did enjoy hearing the story of how God wasn’t satisfied with Adam and made me to improve upon the original. I was Human Being Version 2.0, in today’s parlance. Naturally, it was a bit difficult for Adam to keep up with me, the poor thing. But I did my best to humor him and let him follow me around while I explored our world.

Of course you all are waiting for me to get to the meat of the story – the Big Moment when that slithery silver-tongued serpent shows up and deceives me and all the order of things falls into chaos. Well, why should I? You obviously know it all already. I’m interested in sharing things you don’t know so well.

And the main thing is this: without me, you wouldn’t be who you are. Not that you wouldn’t exist (that much is obvious). You wouldn’t know God the way you do – or the way you could if you don’t already. My curiosity may have damned me, but it opened up the world to you. It gave you the ability to be in a real relationship with your Creator.

But the process to get there had to be painful. I disobeyed. God learned the strong will of humans overtakes our better judgment (then again, did I even have judgment before? It’s so hard to remember that innocence).

For whatever reason, God gave us power. Not only dominion over the earth, but also over each other, and even over God. My action was the first in a long line of rebellions, which led to so much pain. My own children took it to the next level – and the pain that caused was immeasurable.[1]

And what the pain leads to is vulnerability and need. It leads, ironically, to the loss of dominion.[2] We feel alienated and lost in the world. We know we cannot run things on our own. God has set up the world beautifully and we’ve failed to keep it “good.”

But once you deal with this, realize another thing: our “intense desire for God, never satisfied, arises from our separation from him.”[3] This is the legacy I leave to you: your longing for God. (God, of course, has always longed for you.) My actions did no less than “set in motion the wheels of salvation.”[4]

You can thank me when we meet again.

[1] Goldingay, 40.
[2] Shaw, 44-45.
[3] Grizzuti-Harrison, 1.
[4] Ibid, 1.


Goldingay, John. After Eating the Apricot (Carlisle: Solway, 1996), pp. 33-45.

Grizzuti-Harrison, Barbara. “A Meditation on Eve,” from Out of the Garden: Women Writers on the Bible, edited by Christina Buchmann and Celina Spiegel (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1994), pp. 1-2.

Shaw, Suzanne. “Letters to the Editor of Genesis” in First Person: Essays in Biblical Autobiography edited by Philip R. Davies (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), p. 44-45.

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