We pass the white plastic coffee carafe around the room, twelve women with Bibles splayed out, pens raised. During the video presentation, we fill in blanks, scribble notes, and sip from styrofoam cups. When the lights are flipped on again, we laugh, ask questions, and discuss the material from our week’s study.
This room that has been painted tan, then blue, then grey, then cream. For fifteen years, white coffee carafes have been passed, and women of all ages have been stirring in cream and sugar, and feeling God stir in them. The Bible study facilitators and books have changed, but always there are women gathering, grabbing coffee and dipping into God’s word.
This morning, we studied Genesis –beginnings-- and heard the plot forming of a cosmic love story played out on a grand scale. This Creator who built a world, created people, and has plans for them, loving them fiercely, selflessly. Foreshadowed throughout his book is a tale of a wound that cuts him deeply, but brings life to others.
Gathering my books afterwards, I stuff them in a sequined shoulder bag, gaily end conversations, and head home to make lunch.
Adam. One man alone in a garden, naming beasts, full of passion, potential, and new life, suddenly glimpsing how alone he was, with no one to share all his love, excitement and new ideas. The Creator in the wings was waiting, letting this lesson sink in, wanting man to know how alone he was, how incomplete he was without woman. Then, when asked, the Creator sallied forth, put the man to sleep and wounded him, piercing his side to bring life to the man’s second half, his love and new companion.
Male and female, intertwined, life from each other; and in marriage, one unit. Created to be a deeper picture of the intertwined relationship of the Three-in-One-God; and a picture of how much the Son loves the Global Church, his bride. Later in history during a Roman torture scene, we see a wound that cuts open his side—and Jesus gives life to his Bride.
At home, as laundry piles and the dishwasher hums, I ponder this relationship. Love and passion between my husband and I, I get. Love and safety with God as my Abba Daddy, I get. That comes easily. Seeing God as my Lover that I long for and miss comes harder to me, but it denotes a deeper passion and intimacy that I am intrigued by tonight.
After tacos tonight, I headed to the garage with a ladder, some S--hooks and a plan. Standing the blue metal ladder precariously against the door to our house, I leaned on tip-toe, assembling a chain from which to dangle suitcases and backpacks. Suddenly the handle of the door supporting my ladder turned and my four year old opened the door. My ladder slipped. I screamed and grabbed onto rough garage rafters, as the ladder tumbled uselessly out of reach.
“Mark, help! Daniel, shut the door! Help!”
Dangling from the rafters, far above cement steps, I was stuck and terrified.
Mark’s arms came around me then, laughing wryly at the mess I was in.
“Let go,” he demanded.
“No! You just have one arm holding me.”
“Let go. I’ve got you.” His shoulders against me, his arm wrapped tightly, I trusted and let go.
And suddenly, this rescue by my human-husband helps the idea of a God-Lover holding me tightly make a bit more sense too.