This one’s short and to the point. After the fall, life…goes on.
The mandate is the same: Image-carriers of God, now broken, relationships all out of whack, carry on. The tasks of ruling and subduing and multiplying and bearing fruit and tilling and keeping and cultivating the ground…all of them still operative, still at the heart of the human condition and enterprise, still connected to the original ideas described in those early Genesis chapters. Making life, making civilization, discovering possibilities, moving from one state of being to another, increasing knowledge of earth and sky and sea and each other. There’s pain now in child birth, but birth keeps happening, as it was intended from the beginning. The ground and other materials are cranky as human beings work them, complaining, pushing back, refusing to give up their fruit without a fight. Now killing becomes a part of eating, and animals die, but eating, metabolism, life itself–it all continues. Work, intended from the first of creation, before the fall, continues, but now is tinged with all manner of curses and death, but still, it goes on, still rife with potential for meaning and making a difference, a difference that points to God and hope and restoration and repair.
Relationships continue. Humans contend with God, haunted by Him, by memories of what the cool of the evening must have been like back in Adam’s day. Eternity rattles around in our chests like death, and we strive to find the origin of these soul-aches that come as we cast the simplest glance at beauty, wrecked that we can’t drop the curse and leap into the arms of that glory we can sense is just over there. Just right there. We reach to each other for comfort, for romance, for sex, for some kind of entry into the oneness that must be out there, the echoes of wholeness resonating inside. But we repel each other, porcupines all, leaving scars and nettles and broken bones. Sex won’t do it, touch won’t do it, substance-altered states of consciousness won’t do it, and all kindnesses cave in the end to a sort of moral entropy, fading into nonchalance, dissonance, and finally cruelty. But still we reach, still we reach, thrusting away, blind, deaf, and dumb, but feeling just enough pleasure to keep after it.
Life goes on.
Life goes on.
Making moments, making civilizations, making deals, making businesses, making art, making mistakes, making love, making things better, making things right again. Making goes on. To say it more technically, material is taken and shaped, whether that material be physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, or otherwise. Shaping leads to form, a word that reminds me of God forming human beings from the dust of the earth. It’s the potter’s term for taking material and shaping it, God’s initial work passed on to His creatures, intended to be done in joy and freedom, now done in wreckage and sorrow. But still, seeds push up through the ground, discoveries in the fields of science, physics, art, and human relations continue to push up through the curses of humans minds and hearts, and though incomplete and distorted, meaning continues to tease us as we intuitively grasp that this making of life is the heart of life, but for some reason, it does not satisfy.
There must be something else.
Someone show us, please.
Next, someone does…
One Reply to “Meaning of Life 1.5 – A Broken Maker”
Although within us there are wounds,
Lord Christ, above all there is
the miracle of your mysterious presence.
Thus, made lighter or even set free,
we are going with you, the Christ,
from one discovery to another.
–book of common prayer