“Then God said, ‘It is not good for the human to be alone.'” – Genesis 2:18
In Genesis chapter 1, God created light, earth, sky, oceans, flora and fauna and each time God said, “That’s good!” In chapter 2, God created Adam and that’s when the trouble started.
Although Adam enjoyed a stress-free existence in a tropical paradise, he was alone. For the first time, God looked at creation and said, “That’s not good.” God attempted to resolve the problem by creating an endless array of animals from which the bachelor might select a life-partner. But none of them made Adam’s heart sing and none received the final rose.
So God anesthetized Adam, removed a rib and shaped it into a second human who was like the first but with some unique features and abilities; some might say she was an upgrade.
When Adam came to, it was love at first sight. He said to Eve: “You are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” a pickup line that has not been used since. Actually, it was a poetic way of saying, “In you, I see myself. In you, I understand who I am.”
It is “not good” to live in isolation. That’s a hard message for introverts like me. I crave alone time. But the biblical truth is, without others, I don’t know who I am and I can’t fully appreciate who God is, because (for Trinitarians) God is community, perfect partnership.
Find time to be with others today. Look at them deeply until you see yourself—which might make them easier to love. You might even see God.
And that’s good.
God, help me do the hard and wonderful work of human connection so that I may truly love others, myself and you.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.