I am not comfortable writing about this next topic. I’ve had many attempts before — lots of first drafts sitting around somewhere — but since expanding my comfort zone is fast becoming my focus for the year (and it is definitely the purpose of this blog), I shall try yet again.
Today’s first reading says: The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” Gen 2:18
Now, wouldn’t we all want to meet this suitable partner that God had fashioned for each of us? Those same lines in today’s readings were used in a book by Michelle McKinney Hammond that was lent to me before. This book, I shall call ‘the-book-that-must-not-be-named‘ because when I first saw the title, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I cringed at the title. I dreaded having to read the first few pages. Ick. However, since the-book-that-must-not-be-named was lent by a good friend of mine, I read on and trusted that her best intentions were behind the recommendation. Trust me. It’s not the book; it’s me. The-book-that-must-not-be-named is about love.
Butterflies. Beautiful eyes. Big sigh. Haaaaay … Now could this be love? You’re thinking ‘Is he the one?’ or ‘Could she be right for me?’ Can we even count how many times we’ve asked ourselves that question when we were in a relationship? Or when we come across certain people we are attracted to in more than just the physical sense, how can we separate love from the many distractions?
“The man gave names to all … but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.” – Gen 2:20.
This is where the-book-that-must-not-be-named comes in handy. Hammond explains: “… We’ve all been through several naming ceremonies, and we’ve handed out a long list of wrong names, such as: ‘Mr/Ms Perfect-for-Me’, ‘Mr/Ms My-Type’, ‘Mr/Ms Dream-Man/Woman’, ‘Mr/Ms He’ll/She’ll-Do-I-Just-Need-to-Fix-Him/Her-Up-a-Bit’, ‘Mr/Ms After-Waiting-So-Long-I-Can-Live-with-This’, or ‘Mr/Ms I-Can’t-Take-Another-Day-Alone-I’ll-Take-Him/Her’ … I believe it was clear to Adam, after naming all … after seeing how beautiful they all were, that it would not be beneficial for him to try to force a match. He knew himself, his needs, his desires, his strengths, his weaknesses, and he knew God.”
I like that last line: “He knew himself, his needs, his desires, his strengths, his weaknesses, and he knew God.” It explains that we must first know ourselves, be whole as individuals in order to actually know who is our ‘suitable partner.’ A few months ago, I came across this short sweet picture book called “The Missing Piece Meets The Big O” by Shel Silverstein and it has an online version. Just click on the picture to view the link.
In the same sense, it teaches us to first know ourselves, instead of trying to force a match and living with it the rest of our lives. For those who dread the single life, being alone is different from being lonely. Getting to know ourselves more and becoming whole is an enjoyable experience once we embrace it.
Continuing on to the next lines of today’s first readings, “So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then build up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” – Gen 2:21-23.
Adam laid his trust into God’s hands, literally. He trusted his Creator knew him more than he knew himself, and likewise, into His hands we all must place our trust. That suitable partner will be revealed to us in time, we’ve got to first trust.