I just left my second counseling session of the day.
As I drove away from my last appointment – which was covering the “what to do’s in case of a panic attack” – as I suffered one over the weekend and ended up in the E.R., I was reminded of my childhood. As a child, I had at least two of these episodes that I can recall which landed me in my hometown hospital. I don’t remember my age, only that I was young and that it was all dimissed as though I believed I had asthma – which by-the-way, I never believed, but was told that was my problem. At any rate, while thinking on those episodes (and the late night trips to the E.R. in my Dad’s black Ford pick-up truck while laying on my mother’s lap) today, a verse came to mind: “I tell you the truth, unless you become like a child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Hmmm. Strange. What!? Wait. Does this mean…
Now my brain is spinning.
Let me explain.
I’ve long been dwelling over the story of Adam and Eve and have come to realize that God clothed both of them – not as we think of clothes – but with skin as it says in the Bible. Adam and Eve, however clothed themselves (prior to God’s skin coverings) with fig leaves. This further makes me question my “Hmmmm” thoughts while driving home today – Are we currently living in the kingdom of heaven?
For me the fig leaves I’ve worn all my life were those things that covered up my spirit, and the deepest parts of who I am. To have an episode – which hasn’t occured since I was a child – makes me question if the fig leaves (or coverings I had made for myself) haven’t been removed. Yes, I am still clothed in skin, but when I am no longer physically here and seen via my skin, is my spirit still here just in the Garden with God? For those who have lost loved ones, I wonder if this isn’t what they mean, when they say they can still “feel” them. I believe, quite possibly, that they are with us and around us, just not seen.
This will likely get my sisters to thinking. I have one who considers all sides of things and life and science, etc. Honestly, it’s just too much for me to wrap my brain around, so I won’t even go down the roads we discussed while on our sisters getaway weekend (which is when I took them to Country Music City’s finest establishment – the E.R.) Ha! BUT the crazy part for me – looking back on all of this – is the realization that the conversation we were having just prior to my episode, was about shame.
For why did Adam and Eve cover themselves with fig leaves? Because, they were “naked.” In essence, they were seen and known and this made them afraid. I, being a very open person, was more open and vulnerable with my sisters than I’ve ever been with them. In turn, I wonder now, if this isn’t what triggered my attack. Maybe not, after all no one really knows what brings these on and causes them, only that they happen and can occur from out of nowhere. I ponder the reality that we all live with these coverings because it’s scary to be truly seen and known for who we are. They are the protection we form around ourselves in order to survive life in this harsh world.
As I look at the story of creation once again, I’m reminded of the good news that God didn’t blame Adam or Eve, He blamed Satan. And yet he (Satan) would do, and does do, his dangdest (is that word?) to make us believe we are at fault.
She recognized the truth. She, too, blamed Satan. And then, she owned her part. No, she didn’t get to live in the garden anymore and she had to face the consequences of her choices, but she wasn’t damned to hell because of them either. I, just as Eve, have had to live with the consequences of many of my decisions in this life, as will anyone. But, the good news is this…we have the opportunity to become like children even now and to live as God sees us and knows us to truly be…the open, vulnerable beings He designed. Unafraid and unashamed.
What do you think? Are we living in the Kingdom of God currently? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Til next time,
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