Relationships without shame.


18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” 19So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. 20He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.

21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

23“At last!” the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,

and flesh from my flesh!

She will be called ‘woman,’

because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

25Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. Genesis 2:18-25

Shame hides. Shame creates a compulsion to hide either by overdoing togetherness or separateness. Shame is an enemy of communion. But shame is not the product of separateness or of union.

No shame. We have difficulty imagining such a condition.

God intended for Adam to discover his aloneness or difference from the creation. I believe the naming process created an awareness of self and of the other; or perhaps I should say the naming process engaged Adam with the stuff of earth and created the awareness in Adam of the absence of the “other” who was “just right for him.”

When Adam saw the woman, he recognized and rejoiced in her. His poetic explosion highlights their connection and their separateness. True communion must be permeated with the grace of God; it is the condition required for the strength and glory of an eben-ezer (strong help) to be received and cherished without fear, guilt, or shame. In the backstory of the Gospel its hard for us to imagine relationships without shame.


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