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Friday, August 10, 2012

The First Time

          So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them.  And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."  Genesis, 1:27-28 RSV
          I found myself wondering the other day what it might have been like to be Eve.  You know, to be the first woman ever, and therefore be the first woman to ever experience pregnancy.  I'm sure she and Adam were aware of how babies came to be, especially before The Fall when they had all that super-knowledge and everything, but there certainly is a difference between knowing intellectually and actually experiencing something.  Eve didn't have a mom or friends to give her advice and tell her the general things to expect.  After The Fall, she lost her super-knowledge and was left in the dark regarding the workings of her body - what must it have been like to undergo the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy with no foreknowledge whatsoever?  Can you imagine how a conversation between Adam and Eve could have gone that first time 'round?
Eve:  "Adam, I think something funny is going on.  I've been feeling these weird bumps and things inside my tummy all day...  Do you think it's getting bigger?  I do..."
Adam:  "Now that you mention it, I do suppose your stomach is a bit protrude-y....  Hold on a minute, let me go check out the sheep."  (Wanders out to the field, comes back)  "Well, I'm no expert, but I think you just might be...with lamb."  
Well, I suppose it could have gone a bit differently, but it most likely was a monumental moment for both of them when they finally realized what was going on - together we made another person, and I am are carrying him inside of me!
          Thankfully, though, they did have a bit of insight into what labor and birth would be like (God can be kinda nice like that):  To the woman he said, "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  Genesis, 3:16 RSV  I can't imagine what it would be like to be facing labor and birth without knowing what it might be like.  Though perhaps not knowing about the pain at all might have been better....  Nah.  I'd rather know it was going to hurt, at least then I could sort of pretend like I could prepare.  I'm told that there can be great pain and agony during childbirth, and sometimes even afterward, but such horror stories are also accompanied by "But it's all worth it to have this little one to love."  Pretty sure Eve must have felt the same way:  The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.  Genesis, 3:20 RSV

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