Practical, Therapeutic, Theological Talk
“The real game is the game you are in.”
“Grace was in all her steps, Heav’n in her Eye,
In every gesture dignitie and love.
I overjoyd could not forbear aloud.”
John Milton imagining Adam’s response to Eve at the beginning of the long love scene passage in Paradise Lost (viii, 490 507)
Guys don’t always appreciate their wives as they ought. Your wife might not be Eve but you’re not Adam either. None of us are of the stature of Adam when God presented Eve to him. I speak no ill of us fellows today; still it’s important for perspective.
The most perplexing part of the story for me, upon first hearing it right up to today, is the rib business. Imagine as we must, that God puts you to sleep with an excellent sedative, pulls apart your rib cage, breaks off one of your ribs, and closes you back up. It’s not said how long you are out of it. Meanwhile, God goes off and makes the rib into a woman.
That knocks me out. How long did that take? Clearly long enough to do some extremely good work. God must have been thinking as God worked, thoughts like, “I hope the man will like what I’m making. Should I make her nose like this or maybe like that” and so on. “I love doing this,” God exalts. God, of course, had benevolent intent and was also an excellent craftsperson. And it is also true that men have
admired God’s work in creating women from the beginning of known human time to this day.
When you (imagining you are Adam) awake from your involuntary sleep (possibly with a somewhat sore rib cage wondering when you will get a replacement for the donated one), here comes God with Eve by his side. We shouldn’t forget that neither the fellow nor the girl has a name yet at this point in the story, though we call them Adam and Eve for convenience. Anyway, here’s where the story takes off. Was Adam jubilant? Ecstatic? Overjoyed? Amazed? Delighted? Your call.
If he was speechless, it was barely a moment. He blurts out, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘Woman,’ for out of ‘Man’ this one was taken.” (Genesis 2:23)
What a moment! Notice the allusion to the rib. That still floors me. But to this day, the magic of love and beauty for every lover/person is, at the very least, astounding. John Milton had his finger on that pulse.