In a previous post, I shared how my vegetable growing was going on my balcony. Or not going, for that matter. The lone bean plant in its pot had bizarrely sprung up high… and then nothing else had happened in there.
I thought it was weird, but attempted to see a parallel in it for our spiritual lives.
But now…. (above)… that’s right, it’s got some friends 🙂 (phew…)
This makes me happier than it probably should. Even though they’re just plants, I feel like there’s something very disconcerting about isolation. Just one plant by itself seems wrong.
Same for humanity. We’re not meant to be alone. We’re meant to be in community.
Sometimes that community is a family. Or a workplace. Or a social activity group or sporting club. Sometimes it’s you and your best friends. Whatever it is… we’re made to be in relationships with others. That’s actually what it says in The Bible too. Community and relationships are profoundly Biblical concepts.
As for my balcony pot plants, so for the original garden… Eden. Isolation wasn’t good there either. In fact, it was the first time God saw something and didn’t classify it as good.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden and there he put the man he had formed… to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “you are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man… But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to her.
As I was writing this I could hear Simone de Beauvoir yelling at me in French: “Le Deuxieme Sexe!!”; viewing that passage as something derogatory to women.
I don’t think it’s derogatory at all. I think it’s beautiful. It’s the beginning of womankind. It’s an amazingly sacred moment. No wonder Adam became a muse, bursting out to create the first lines of poetry ever:
This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.
It’s kind of lost in translation for out modern ears; but Adam is seriously stoked. And why wouldn’t he be?
It’s bad to be alone. And God met his need for relationship with another human being, Eve.
Womankind isn’t an afterthought; she’s a necessity.
Yours in community,
Image Credit: Personal Collection