As part of a year-long course I’m immersed in, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with a group of authentic and supportive women (12 of us plus a teacher) at a dude ranch called Peaceful Valley. We drove up between snowfalls and, because of the time of year, ended up being the only people there that weekend. It was blissful in many ways.
One way was that I got a dose of the solitude I so often crave. I enjoyed some of that time and mountain air to think about and continue writing my book.
Much of the class time was spent getting acquainted (or reacquainted) with the creation stories of the book of Genesis. The beliefs within have shaped much of western civilization, regardless of which religion you personally may or may not practice.
In Chapter 1 we read about a loving God, the epitome of a good parent, who who creates and gives and blesses. After “male and female created he them,” God rests. Over and over again we read, “It was good.”
In Chapter 2, however, this LORD God dude enters the picture and the story is told all over again.
- Only in this version, the woman comes from the man’s body (even though everything we’ve ever observed in nature is that the female body delivers new life).
- Only in this version, god isn’t loving and blessing and giving. In fact, LORD God is a bit of a trickster and not what anyone would use as a model parent. What loving parent would set his innocent children in a beautiful room and say, “Touch anything you want except THIS REALLY SOFT AND COZY BLANKET?” When the children do succumb to the constructed temptation, what compassionate parent would then berate his children, curse them and their progeny for eternity, curse the very earth they live on and banish them from his home?
Can you imagine doing so? I think most of us mere mortals would foresee the folly of the forbidden fruit. But if we didn’t, we’d probably use any resulting disobedience as a teaching moment. Why is it we have given LORD God a pass on this?
- Later in Genesis, LORD God chooses one brother over the other in a pattern that later repeats itself. What kind of wise parent would praise a child who hands him a fistful of dandelions but chide the sibling who brings him a frog? The result of the ensuing jealousy is a murder and another curse and another banishment.
The reason we were talking about the early chapters of Genesis is that we who have a relationship with God may have conflated “God-the-loving” with “LORD God-the-poser.”
Doing so leads to our collective feelings of shame, unworthiness, separation, fear, hopelessness. We have been cursed and deceived and told that our eternal life depends on loving and being loved by this trickster of a divine parent. No wonder we have evil in the world, as we try to cover up our shame, best each other, and do unspeakable things because we feel disconnected from LORD God and from one another.
It was a lot to think about and a new way of framing my relationship with God. Liberating, really.
Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.
On the 4th Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. The next Perfect Moment Monday event will be on February 27.
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