Where are you?
‘In the beginning’, scripture tells us, God created everything from nothing. What a marvelous, powerful, creative, relational God. As God was creating, God created human beings ‘in his own image, in the image of God. . . ‘. God gave them both a relationship together and a place. ‘The Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. . . ‘ And God looked at this and it was ‘very good.’
Sadly Genesis chapter three tells of the choice of the man and the woman to defy God and do the one thing He had asked them not to. That evening God comes into the place He has made for His people and not finding them He calls out “where are you? ”
God gave them a place and now they have irreparably caused damage. The damage affects all their relationships
- Their relationship with God is damaged
- Their relationship with each other is damaged
- Their relationship with themselves is damaged, which is shown in the way they are embarrassed and hide their nakedness
- Their relationship with their place is damaged and God ‘drove’ them out
Notice what God says first – “where are you?” Where they were mattered! God had created a place for them. It was their place. A place they could belong, care for and that would care for them. But now that relationship with their place, their rootedness in a land, their place of belonging, their knowledge of home is gone. God calls out “where are you?”
God cares about all our broken relationships and seeks to bring redemption, healing and new life in each of them. Including our relationship with God, with each other, with ourselves. But God also longs to repair and heal our sense of belonging to our place so God does not have to ask ‘where are you?’
Today many people live ‘above place’. By this I mean they don’t have any sense of their place, grounded belonging, home community, a people and a place to belong to. And I wonder if God is calling out to His people all over the western world with the same sadness and pain in His heart – “Where are you? I’ve made you a place but you are not there. I’ve given you a place to create a garden, to care for, to steward, to be a loving trustee of but where are you?”
Have we gone a-wall and are not aware of it?