“The man said: ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.'” – Genesis 3:12
Have you decided whose fault it was yet?
You know, for that thing, that incident that set off a cascading series of bad things. Whose fault was it?
Was it a coworker? A sibling? A faux-friend? A frenemy? A parental unit? An overzealous neighbor?
Or was it “them”?
People from that country;
People of that religious persuasion;
People who read the Bible that way;
People who voted for him.
Who wins out in the blame game?
Wandering in The Garden in the cool of the evening breeze, God gave an opportunity summarily missed. Adam might have taken his own responsibility for what happened. His failure to do so proved deadly. Not so much because of God’s anger or retribution, I believe. But because this story set into motion what seems the continuous process we all undergo as we look at things that go wrong and play a game of: “NOT IT!”
Passing the hot potato of blame from his own hands to Eve’s and from hers to the serpent who couldn’t catch it, she stood with her hands burning. And women subject to the irresponsible teachings of some hold that burning potato to this day.
Owning up to our own portions of responsibility – without lingering there in self-hatred forever – breaks the vicious cycle of the hot potato blame game. This has to stop.
Maybe it starts with us.
God, I am sorry. Forgive me. We were wrong. Forgive us. Thank you for your redemption. Thank you for your love. Heal the scorched hands so they can be ready for your work. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.