Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Creator's Tapestry
It is no wonder that we have trouble speaking in this area. Where was the first manifestation of the fall from grace in the Garden? Was it not in the relationship between man and woman. In a few short verses we end up with guilt, blame, and scorn manifest by the man who nonetheless needed and desired the woman and the woman who needed and desired the man. A relationship gifted to them became a working relationship fraught with competition, fear, lust, independence, willfulness, and jealousy. Roles once clear and without confusion or regret became rigid and bitter. Love which once flowed freely became mired in the conflict between the desire for noble love and sacrifice and the reality of self-interest and a desire to balance the scale between getting and giving.
This is not to discourage the study of man-woman relationships in marriage and the Church. Rather, this is to acknowledge that our discourse is forever constrained by the reality of sin and its limitation upon us and the whole fabric of our world. It is a tapestry stained, worn, and crudely repaired that must suffice until our Lord comes to bring to completion all things He has began. Perhaps then, when He has brought to fulfillment us and all things that are His own, then the relationship that first suffered because of sin will finally be released from its constraints. Even then, it is not Eden to be restored to us but the step beyond Eden to a place where men and women are neither given in marriage nor married at all in the way that earthly definition gave to this relationship. What we will be left with is a transcendent relationship that bears the faint image of what was but also bears the full image of the glory of God's heavenly plan and purpose.
I wonder, then, if we will lament the loss of what has become one very important conversation since that Eden error and regret that we have nothing left to talk about in the men from Mars and the women from Venus... For surely, we have expended many words on this subject here and there seems to be no end to the ink and voices yet to be brought to bear on the relationship between man and woman, either through the lens of Scripture or not.
I will get around to reading through it... though I harbor no illusions about it... it will not bring an end to the debate or silence the on-going discussion that has consumed the relationship of man and woman in and outside the Church for, well, ever.