Friday, May 30, 2014

What is this, thou hast done?

I have learned that clearly articulating past events is essential to my ability to repent, to forgive and to move forward

If I do not write down or speak my innocent mistakes as well as my on-purpose sins, I do not face them.  I may try to make myself believe that simply my cognizance of them is sufficient to be a true catalyst for change, but, I have learned that for me such is insufficient.  By not speaking them I can pretend that they are taken care of, or not important, or sufficiently addressed.  But in reality  I must fully face them and speak them in order to truly learn and make the necessary changes in my life and move on to a better way of living.

If I do not articulate the sins against me, I do not know them well enough to fully forgive them.  I may try to make myself believe that because I choose not to dwell on them, I have forgiven and that is enough. But I have learned that I must fully write or speak them in order to see the damage they did as well as see them for what they are and what they are not.  And it is only when I see them fully that I can begin to fully forgive those who sinned and hand that pain up to God.

I am not always ready to articulate either of those.  It takes honesty and courage and vulnerability, more, sometimes, than I have at the time.  But with time and distance, persistence, and faith in Christ's love and willingness to take me under his wing, I can arrive there as needed.

Which gives me a new perspective on God's questions to Adam and Eve, "Who told thee?",  "Hast thou...?",  and "What is this thou hast done?"

Painting by Lucas Cranach der Altere, 1472-1553

God obviously already knew what had happened and what they had done.  Why, then, would He ask?  I believe it is because He already knew something that I have learned, that articulating a past action is a crucial step towards learning and change.  And certainly both Adam and Eve were facing an imminent need to be prepared for both.  Giving them the opportunity to articulate what had happened and what they had done was a blessing.

And if God was asking the question with the intent of assisting them to be better prepared for the changes that were coming, I believe also that the words he spoke about briars and thistles and sweat and sorrow and childbearing were not words of cursing or punishment, but rather words of instruction (severely edited in the extant versions) and education, preparing them for the changes that would occur in their newly telestial world (as he said, "for thy sake", facilitating their future growth) as well.

1 comment:

BrieAnn said...

This is beautiful, MB.

I keep a private blog to really work/write through things, and after reading this post, I visited that blog and read through much of what I've written there. It was good for me to feel the differences and similarities between things that have happened that I've found peace with, and things that are still, in some/many ways, very tender. One particular post talks about God graciously carrying me through the challenge of trying to "figure it out." (I think "figure it out" could easily be exchanged with "facing it.")

I thought a lot about the questions God asks Adam and Eve at the last endowment session I [we] attended, and I've been dwelling on them, and the answers given since then. "Giving them the opportunity to articulate what they had done was a blessing" - Yes. I think this is exactly so.