They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ (NRSV)
There are quite a number of things that distinguish Christianity from other religions. But the major distinction is that in other religions the emphasis is on our search for God, whereas in the Christian faith the emphasis is on God’s search for us.
Way back at the beginning of human creation, human beings declared their independence from God. This led to estrangement from God. But in no time at all, God came looking for his lost and fearful human creation. The beautiful poetry of this passage indicates to us that God has not given up on his people. When all we humans can do is run and hide out of shame and fear, God comes looking for us.
This search climaxed in God coming to earth in the person of Jesus. Not walking in the cool evening breeze in the garden, but sharing our broken lives in the dust and heat of a broken world, culminating in crucifixion.
And we go on hiding, behind our affluence, our addictions, our fear and our shame. And the remedy is not some futile and desperate attempt to appease some vengeful deity. It is rather that we allow ourselves to be found by him and so allow ourselves to be put back together again by his grace.