Any Which Way: Created for Each Other
It is good, it is good, it is good… This is the liturgical benediction of creation that marks out the first creation account in Genesis, chapter 1.
There is a second account, of course, immediately following in the second chapter. That account, to my ears, gets marked by a very different pronouncement.
It is not good.
Shortly after God creates the first human being God does the whole surveying shtick God is fond of doing and we get this:
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’”
It is NOT good.
God then displays uncommonly poor sense and tries to make a partner by creating animals (though some might wonder at why this all doesn’t stop short with the puppy as man’s best friend). What intrigues me is that creation really is a creative process in this story. There is no script. God appears unable to predict how it will shape up. God is creating and that process has a life of it’s own. God is more reactive than proactive in this account.
And then there is this. It is not good in creation for us to be alone. The very order that God has/is creating is altered to conform to this basic instinct: the need for partnering. The need for help. Our need to not be alone.
A friend told me that a rabbi once told him that all of law that was to come paled before this primordial (pre-ordered) requirement of life within creation. That we have a parter who meets our needs and who makes our very bone and blood sing: “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
Over the last two weeks I have been asking myself again and again the question: why do we make it so hard to care for each other?
Here I am struck that even God is willing, in self-limiting grace, to alter God’s intention to care for creation (the ongoing dynamic unscripted unfolding of life). So why can’t we demonstrate this same ability?
Why can’t we recognize that what we understand as the traditional order of life is just a provisional moment in a grand and expanding creative process? Why cannot we support and nurture each other’s desire not to be alone without trying to make it conform to our script. Why can’t we celebrate each other, learn from each other, and allow our vision of life together to be changed by those encounters?
It is not good for a person to be alone. Period. Celebrate partnership when and how and where you find it. It’s is the goodness we were created to find – each in our own togethered way.