I wasn’t hiding, Lord. She was hiding, and I was staying by her side. She came from my side, remember? We belong together. And I’m her protector. She’s in trouble – You can see for Yourself. How could I leave her? How could I let her go down alone, into this thing You call death ? I know she disobeyed; I know that serpent thing lied. But what was I supposed to do? Leave her alone with him? Leave her alone with You, after that? What would become of her? What kind of a man would I be, if I abandoned her? I’m the hero here, Lord. Look how far I’ve gone to protect the woman you gave me. You make, and You give. But do you give up? Look what I’ve given up, for her sake. To stand beside her, so she won’t stand alone. Not with the serpent, and not with You. I’m that brave. I decided to stand between her and You. I’m taking one for the team, Lord. I’m the hero going down into death with his eyes open. You should try it someday.
I didn’t know what to do. Lord. Everything felt different, and then, Adam told me to run. All I could hear was his voice, screaming at me in a terrifying pitch. To follow him. To hide in the dark shadows. With him. Was it You I was hiding from? All I ever wanted, from the beginning, was to be close to you. After all, you are the Lord who gave us everything. I do know that. But in the moment, I couldn’t think. We were running farther and farther away. Wasn’t Adam supposed to keep me safe? And now, after this, how am I ever supposed to feel safe? When our whole world has turned to darkness?
I didn’t disobey, Lord. She disobeyed; she listened to that serpent thing, when she should have listened to you. Or to me. You didn’t make her for the serpent, after all. She’s my helpmate. Designed to help me. That was your gift, and I took You at Your word. I never thought that Your gift could be a trap, or some kind of test. Which is a greater command, after all? A word of forbidding, or a living gift carved from my own flesh and breathed upon with Your own spirit? She was the help You gave me, and I thought she was helping me. If she wasn’t going to help me, then Your gift was a lie. And I wouldn’t say that to You, Lord. Not to Your face, anyway.
But, it wasn’t my fault, Lord. The serpent was the one who first spoke to me. How was I supposed to know the his word was bad? Like I’ve ever encountered a word that wasn’t for my good, before. I thought the serpent was a truth teacher, just like the man that you gave me. And you expected me to know otherwise? You created me to listen, to obey, and I did exactly that. But now You say the serpent deceived me. He must be the one at fault. I was just an innocent bystander, doing what I thought I was supposed to do. How could I have known? How could I possibly be at fault before I knew, before I tasted, the difference between good and evil?
I wasn’t deceived, Lord. She was deceived, but I know a lie when I hear one. And I know the truth, the things You have told me. I knew the fruit would not make us gods. But didn’t You make us like gods already? You made us in Your image, male and female You made us. I know the serpent lied, but Your image doesn’t lie. She was foolish to eat the fruit, but surely You wanted us to know good and evil in the end? If this thing you call death is the price of godhood, then aren’t we still growing into your image? Look at my hands, my arms and chest. You made me powerful. I can do more than tend a garden. I can toil. I can create life in the wilderness, carve into the barren land just as you ploughed her out of my side. I can bend rivers, I can build towers unto heaven. This is what You wanted, when you made us in Your image. She disobeyed, but we are still on the path to godhood, what You made us to be. I wasn’t deceived, and I won’t disappoint You, Lord. My works will bring You great glory.
I was deceived, Lord. But that doesn’t mean You need to make a scene. Just because I screwed up. It’s my fault, punish me, I can take the pain. Childbearing. Man’s authoritative rule. It can’t be that bad. That is just my lot, isn’t it. Created to support the man. Yet, punished when I attempt to help. Is this just how it goes? I guess I am learning, more than I wanted to know. But even though I disobeyed You, I am strong enough to pretend that nothing has happened. You glory will remain, as long as the generations can see my fake smile. Lord, It’s not that bad, just a little sin. Just a little lie. Just a little less. I think You may be overreacting. Everything is fine.
I didn’t take the fruit from your tree, Lord. She gave it to me. She desired it because it was good for eating, but I desired it for knowledge. I am the one who names things, remember? I named all the things in this garden. You made me this way- You made me the one who knows things. You forbade us to eat, but You did not forbid us to know. If good and evil can be known, then I should know them – and name them. And now I can. You are good, Lord, because You are like all these good things. And I am good, Lord, because all these good things are like me. Bad is whatever is not like Us, Lord. And Good is whatever is like Us. Even if you cast us outside of your presence, Lord, I can find our way back to You. I will know and name the Good and the Evil, because I am the one who names things, even the hidden things inside myself. And we will climb this secret stairway back to You. I am not afraid of this thing you call death, Lord. Because I know better.
The fruit was not just for me, Lord. it was for him, it was for our children, it was for the refinement of the human race. I didn’t take it just because I was hungry, and just because it looked good. It was for improvement and advancement for all. The way of the future. Just a little better everyday. And another thing, Adam wasn’t anywhere to be found when the serpent showed up slithering, talking. It became my duty to stand up and make a decision. Sure, Adam named the animals, but then he just left them alone. Like he left me, to face the serpent, alone. Someone had to plan and execute the path of the future. Our future. I was just being faithful to my vocation of “help”.
I did not eat, Lord. We ate, I and the woman You gave me. We are one flesh, remember? She-and-I together did this and stand naked before you and each other. To do otherwise would have been to lose her, and to be once again alone. I remember alone: the throng of beasts, eyes wide, breath moist, voices clamorous, come to be christened. I remember finding none in all creation to match me. I will not be alone again, Lord, come what may – even this thing You call death. I will not stand shamed beneath the stars, amidst the pitying beasts, shorn of my other self. I cannot stand alone before You. I don’t expect You to understand; after all, You aren’t a Man.
I did not eat by myself, Lord. We ate. I could not do anything other, because he is my one flesh. I don’t remember existence without him. I can’t remember a life without him. Would it have been any different? Would it have been better? By myself, without being connected to this other flesh. Could I have done anything in Your creation, ultimately, without him? But it is true, that I have never been absolutely free. In life, and now in death. Wretched creature that I am, now Who will save us from this body of death?