The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” (NLT)
Getting what we want does not always end well. When the first humans decided to act independently of God, they figured it would broaden and deepen human existence. It did no such thing. Doing what they wanted rather than what God wanted was meant to bring freedom. Instead it brought a fear-ridden and guilt-ridden independence.
In this lovely picture, God is fully present in his creation. He made these humans for friendship with him and goes looking for them. Those same humans who were made for such a relationship hide from him out of shame. Their nakedness is a picture representing their now being out of sorts not only with God but with one another. Sexuality has gone wrong from the start.
This creation story is situated at the beginning of human life on earth. But even into our own day we figure we know best. We ‘eat the forbidden fruit’. We discover our dream of self-sufficiency becomes the nightmare of fear and shame. We hide from the One who made us for himself and loves us with a passion.
And this same God still walks about in both the cool and heat of our days. As we scurry away from him clinging to our shreds of independence, he comes looking. And he puts the same question to us, “Where are you?”