From early on in scripture we discover that sin and brokenness is a part of the human story.
Becoming fully ourselves is about discovering how the image of God is expressed uniquely through each one of us. But it is also about discovering our brokenness. It is about becoming self-aware.
In the language of the text it has to do with having our eyes opened and seeing our nakedness.
How do we discover our brokenness—our nakedness?
If you are like me, you probably don’t have to look much further than this last week.
It is possible to discover our brokenness while on vacation at the shore. There are moments when everything is right. It’s hot and sunny. Perfect beach weather. There is ice cream at Springers. The world is right. We are playing a new game together as a family. Laughter. Joy. Belonging.
But then there are other moments when we encounter our brokenness. Differing desires about what to do. A fun game heads south. Moodiness. Harsh words. Anger. Funk.
We discover our brokenness as human beings in a thousand different ways.
We discover our brokenness when we notice our inability to manage our anger. We discover our brokenness when find ourselves looking at pornography. We discover our brokenness when we begin to see our need for control.
We discover it in the brokenness of our relationships. In the deep disappointments and regrets of life.
The wisdom of Genesis is that it gives us a language to be able to talk about brokenness as part of the human story. I am learning that owning our brokenness is an important part of the journey toward wholeness. It is an important part of discovering our story in God’s story.
Parker Palmer says that when we see wholeness not as perfection, but as embracing everything we are, then we become more able to talk about our brokenness and invite other people to share those same pieces of their lives.
I believe our hard journey together over the last year and a half as a congregation has deepened our awareness that we are broken people.
Our SMC covenant recognizes the need to own our brokenness together: “Since we hold this treasure in jars of clay, we seek to be a community that is real about our brokenness even as we continue the journey toward healing in Christ by the power of the Spirit.”
Becoming fully ourselves is about being real about our brokenness.
A second thing we see in our text is that as we discover our brokenness, we also discover that God meets us in that place. Even when we are hiding in shame.
The text images this as God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze. God calls to the man: “Where are you?”
This question is less about God’s lack of knowledge, then it is an invitation for the humans to become self-aware. God’s question opens the door for the man to express his fear: “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
The good news of the biblical story is that God comes looking for us. God comes to us and asks the question that invites us to become grounded in the present moment—wherever we find ourselves.
Where are you?
It is a question that invites us to self-examination.
Where are you?
It is a question that invites us to slow down and reflect. It is a question that invites us to live intentionally rather than just be driven by our impulses. By our hiding.
I am discovering that this question God asks the first humans is an important question. I am learning that the spiritual life, my ability to notice God, has everything to do with my ability to be present. Even in hard places. Places that aren’t fun. Places like a journey with cancer. Places like conflict. Places like my own unsettled emotions.
Being present has to do with paying attention to what is going on in my body, my emotions, my mind… Being present has to do with what is going on around me and my responses to what is going on…
God’s question invites us to live contemplatively. But what does it mean to be present? Continue reading