Note: This is an updated version of chapter one from the book Crazy Amazing Love: 31 Pieces of Love, a devotional of sorts that I wrote a couple of years ago. I will continue posting each chapter over the next year until they have all be posted. Then we’ll start on 31 Pieces of Joy. Because these are book chapters, they will run a little longer than a normal blog.
“Hi, I’m Adam”
Love appeared the first time (between two people) the moment Adam saw Eve. Maybe that sounds trite, but it’s true. Jokes have been made that when Adam saw Eve for the first time, he actually said, “Whoa, man!” And the description stuck. Jesting aside, Eve was created for Adam. The match was, literally, made in Heaven, and he was instantly in Love. The idea of Love at first sight was born. Or at least a case of major infatuation.
Can you imagine that first encounter? As Adam fumbled for what to say. “Wow, who are you?”
“I’m Eve.” She looked at him. “Who are you?”
He hesitated. Nothing he was going to say would do to her what she had already done to him by just showing up. “I’m in Love. I mean, I’m Ad…umm. I mean, I’m Adam.”
Maybe God introduced them in a big voice here. “Adam…” Deep and powerful. He puts his arm around Adam and draws him, kind of fatherly, in close. Maybe like Foghorn Leghorn would. Sort of a “Come here, boy” kind of thing. Eve walks out from behind a bush. “Son, this is Eve. She’s your…” Instant loss of attention. “Adam?” God looks at him and waves His hand in front of his eyes. No response. “Adam?” God shakes him a bit and looks in his eyes. “You in there, boy?” But Adam just stares at Eve.
Okay, all in fun. Yet, however that first encounter went, Adam was smitten. And women have been doing that very thing to guys ever since.
Love Was Pre-existing
But Love existed before that moment. Love existed in the form of a God Who Loved. He Loved the Son who was also already in the mix. He Loved His creation, Adam. He was relevant to Adam. Adam was relevant to Him. They had a friendship, not just an awareness of each other. They took walks in the Garden together. They “hung out.” Think about that! They were buddies.
Understanding Love has been a quandary that men and women have spent thousands of years trying to comprehend and put into a box. But Love is bigger than anything a box can hold or a page can explain. It forges bonds between enemies. It resolves thousand-year feuds. It turns words into promises and makes sure they are kept. It makes us cry for joy and laugh cynically from the pain its loss can create. It has even started a war or two.
We often talk about the mystery surrounding the Love between a man and a woman. But the mystery of Love between a parent and a child can be just as much of a dilemma—especially when a gulf develops between them and grows to become so enormous it seems impossible to overcome. Yet they are still dad and still son. Still mom and still daughter. A compromise is still a possibility. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule when it comes to humans, but how many times have we heard the story of how a parent and a child reconcile after years apart? How circumstances throw them back together and all is suddenly forgiven? This is such a beautiful scene.
Love between a parent and a child shows us how we can set differences aside. How we can grow from a child who needs constant attention to an adult that returns that attention as Mom gets too old to get along. That’s what Love is.
And So Much More!
Understanding Love is not something that just up-and-happens. In fact, the greatest psychologist will never be able to put it fully into words. The most skilled minister will always be just a little bit dumbfounded. A poet of greatest renown will often remain speechless when confronted by the subject of Love. There is no walk of life that will have a greater understanding than another. We’re all in the same boat: all at a mystery as to wholly understanding Love.
And the greatest mystery surrounding Love will always be God’s Love for mankind. Try to wrap your head around this:
God creates a Universe full of stars, quasars, nebulae, black holes, and a million other mysteries. He selects one small corner of this vast space to create an unassuming ball of oxygen, water, dirt, vegetation, animals, and countless more details. In the midst of this beautiful place, He creates his greatest achievement: mankind. Adam was created in a more specific way than the other creatures like pottery for the most part. He breathes life into him and voila! Instant buddy. Adam, the first.
He doesn’t just make a man; He makes a friend. He makes a person to tend to His garden, to name His other creations, and to spend time with. Made in His image, with a spirit. Made to rule the Kingdom God had built on Earth. Perfect. No mistakes. Moses, for all he was to God, could not see God face to face and survive. Adam could. Daniel, revered of the Hebrew Nation, never had physical contact with God. Adam did.
He had no sin. The concept of sin didn’t even exist yet in the heart or mind of man. Adam was complete. But God gave one simple specification to Adam: do not eat from this particular tree. How hard was that?
So the scene plays out with Adam doing for God all He asked and the two becoming friends. Friends who Loved one another. That’s what we are when we are buddies. We Love each other. Guys don’t point that out because it’s “un-guylike,” but that’s really what is happening. Call it a “bromance” or a “man crush.” Whatever! It’s Love.
So Adam goes on about his business, but he is missing something. God spots this. They are, after all, buddies. He’s aware of the difficulties and trials of Adam’s life. So now entering the picture is our heroine. She and Adam are an instant item. She follows him everywhere he goes. She holds his hand. Smiles and laughs at all his jokes. Hangs on every word he says. Constantly needs to be touching him. Connection. Remember, she was setting a precedent for all women. No doubt wanted to talk about everything, too!
One day she’s wandering alone and temptation comes. It’s the tree they are not supposed to eat from. The enemy of God finds a weakness. Hubby arrives a moment too late and points out that this was the one thing they weren’t supposed to do. She looks at him with eyes that are both sorry and admiring. She wasn’t trying to deceive him; she Loved him. And he Loved her. She offers him a bite, and, bewildered and foolish, he pops a sliver in his mouth. Boom! The world stops turning.
God comes walking into the place, trying to find His two favorite people. Remember, Eve had become part of Adam. Actually, she had always been part of him. Literally. And she was not just in a relationship with Adam but also with Adam’s Buddy, God. He had become to her what He had been for Adam: Father, God, Friend. But she, with her husband, now hid from Him.
Confronted, the Father tells them essentially that this was expected. He was God; stuff doesn’t get by Him. Though this had ramifications that would last thousands of years, there would be One who would come and gain victory over the disobedience and sin that had been committed for the first time that day in Eden.
Sin would destroy many, many lives after that. It would devastate, kill, and cause great wars. It would murder innocent children. It would glorify evil. It would turn the world upside down. But God would make a way.
The “fuse” that was lit that day would usher in a darkness that Adam and Eve could not even fathom. The world, God’s creation, would struggle from then on, trying to roll out from under the blanket of sin that Adam’s actions laid across it. But mankind would always fail. Always.
So what is Love? Love is creating and adoring a beautiful creature. Giving them everything they need. Giving them instructions to keep them safe. Love is accepting the fact that they are going to screw up, they are going to be disobedient. Love is making a way despite the dumb things they have done. Love is responding with, “Yes, but I have a plan to fix this…”
Love is Love when they turn on you. Love is Love when their own actions cause them to stumble but you still reach out to lift them back up. Love is not just saying, “You will make it alright,” but it is following through with the promise. The Promise.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on authormrdavenport.wixsite.com/mrdavenport
Featured Image by Casey Horner