My Lord and Tailor

God shifts gears.  For years after I became a Christian, Noah’s Ark was my favorite story because at the end a passionate God says, “Maybe I went a little far – I just love you so much!  I will never do THAT again.”  Then He gives us a little visual gift, the simplest way that he has to communicate with us.  He shifted gears so we could move forward and continue in our relationship.  That a supernatural being would do this should strike awe in our hearts.  To me, God became approachable and trustworthy in that moment that He was fragile.

A lesser known, but perhaps more poignant example of God’s gearbox occurs in Genesis, the third chapter of our creation.  God has just cursed the serpent, cursed Eve, and cursed Adam.  In those verses, it seems as though He has washed His hands of this creation.  His words are fierce with even fiercer implication…in essence, he destines the serpent to wallow in lowliness.  He lays the gauntlet and tells Eve to get ready – everything she wants and needs for her family will be a fight.  Adam, he says, will work until he dies – a new concept – just to eat.  These curses resonate through the generations with an echo that will not be stilled.

However, right after this tirade, after the world is forever changed and God’s plan is thwarted by the disobedience of His children, he downshifts.  He sits down with them and makes clothing out of skins (Genesis 3:21).  He had banished them from the Garden of Eden and he could have banished them from His presence, but He did not.  Instead, He put that behind them so they could prepare for a new and decidedly different future.  This is a pure and beautiful model for a family whose dreams are waylaid.  When our children are born, we have a clearcut vision of how life will be.  Today, I think most of our vision comes from the media but still, there are values that will be passed down.  Wisdom these children will carry into adulthood.  We are certain that our children will not make the mistakes we made.  

But then they do.  Then we have adjustments to make.  We have anger to work through.  We have resentment.

Unfortunately, while we resent and adjust and “work through” our anger, the world keeps moving.  All of that takes such precious time and much is lost in that time.  Imagine what a closer bond could be forged if we sat down and made clothes, stitching together the changes to come.  Of course this can’t be easy.  Even for God, this was a sacrifice.  The clothes were made from skin.  This is significant because until now, there had not been death in the Garden of Eden.  In fact, death wasn’t part of the plan.  Surely God did not want to destroy any piece of His creation, especially to mollify His children’s disobedience.  But He did it.  AND THEN he sent His children away prepared, nurtured, and loved.  Loved but not alone.

Something else happened during this chain of events.  As God set forth his curses, Adam matured.  Right afterwards, before they made clothes, Adam named his wife.  He named her Eve, “because she was the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20).”  I can imagine this…God is mad, completely fired up, and he unleashes this curse.  The curse is really more of a “now look what you’ve done” kind of statement because God is not being cruel, he is just outlining the consequences of their actions since they will no longer have access to the Tree of Life.  Of course, that part he leaves out until all is said and done.  After this, Adam sheepishly comes to God and strikes up a conversation, the kind that you had with your parents and now your children have with you, the confession.  He tells him what he learned from what he did and God feels good that His child may be responsible after all.  Then, Adam gets to the point.  He realizes that they are it and he and his wife have been charged with great responsibility.  For the first time, he looks at his wife as a partner for the work ahead, not just a companion, and he respects her.  Then he gives her a name borne from all of this understanding.  This is when Adam grows up.

I have a teenager.  She is wonderful, brilliant, beautiful, and has the brightest future I can imagine.  In her I can see the fruition of so many dreams long abandoned.  I desperately want her to stay on track to be wildly successful and happy beyond measure.  In my heart, though, is tucked this story.  There is no doubt that our family will shift gears in the next ten years.  Happiness to her may mean something completely different than it means to me.  Choices will be made.  Hers is not my life to live.  I just hope that we can sit down and make the right clothes when it happens.


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