Adam’s Rib

There’s nothing like a little child’s logic to make us revisit entrenched ways of thinking.

When two-and-a-half-year-old Lenora climbed into my lap and asked for a story, I told the familiar creation story from the book of Genesis. “God made the whole beautiful earth,” I said. “Then he took some sticky dirt and made a friend for Himself.”

Lenora cuddled closer. “That was Adam, right?”

“It was,” I said. “Then, because Adam was lonely, God made him fall asleep. He took one of Adam’s ribs, and from it he made a woman.”

My daughter wrinkled her nose. “Yuck.”

I grinned at her expression. “When Adam woke up, he saw the lovely companion God had given him. He called the woman ‘Eve.’ Adam and Eve loved the beautiful garden God made for them. God told them they could eat anything that grew there, all but the fruit from one certain tree. ‘If you eat it,’ God said, ‘you will surely die.’ So they obeyed God and left it alone.”

I lowered my voice to a whisper. “But then, something awful happened.”

Lenora’s eyes grew big. “What happened?” she whispered back.

“Satan, God’s enemy, came sneaking into the garden. He told Eve that God really didn’t mean she would die if she ate the fruit. God just didn’t want her to be as wise as He is. So Eve ate some of the fruit. She gave a piece to Adam, and he ate it, too. Right away, Adam and Eve knew they had disobeyed God. They were ashamed. They hid from Him.”

“Didn’t they know people can’t hide from God?”

“They found that out, didn’t they? God felt very sad, because his friends could no longer stay in the beautiful garden. They had let sin enter the world. Now they would have to work hard to make the earth produce food. There would be murder and stealing and lying among all the people on earth. And worst of all, they would not live forever as God had planned.”

Lenora gave a big sigh. “They should have minded God.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Adam and Eve had to leave the garden. They had to work very hard. Their first baby grew up to kill his own brother. After a long time, Adam died, and his body turned back into the dust of the earth.”

Lenora pondered this for a while, then looked up.

“And when Eve died, did she turn back into Adam’s rib?”

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