THE SILENCES OF SCRIPTURE

When we read the Word of God,
we are invited to read not only its words,
but also the silences between the lines.

Holy Thu online.008

When we read–or pray over–Scripture,
we need to read and pray
between the lines.

Scripture offers us rich and timeless stories,
but we can enter into these stories
only by putting ourselves
in their characters’ shoes.
It takes imagination to think and feel
what the biblical characters must have thought and felt.

Only then can we appreciate their stories and struggles.
We may even realize that
they’re not so different from us, after all,
and that their prayers and questions then
sound much like our own today.

What did the silences of Adam and Eve’s stories
disclose to you?
Did you notice or think of anything
you didn’t notice or think of before?

Feel free to write down your thoughts below
and to read–and respond to–the thoughts
of your fellow retreatants’.

Whenever you are ready,
click NEXT.

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133 replies on “THE SILENCES OF SCRIPTURE”

Square one: i feel grateful despite the struggles i have been to.
Slide no. 1 reminds me of my childhood days when i do not worry anything about life. I was happy, innocent and full of trust.
Slide no. 2 reminds me of the time when i committed the sin of immorality when i do not want to face my parents because they strongly discouraged me about it. So i became a rebel. I do not want to see them because i felt guilty. I felt liberated by myself but when i face God and my parents, i felt ashamed.
Slide no. 3 makes me put into the shoes of my parents about how worried they are when they no longer see me that often. I guess they know i committed a sin but despite of that, they sought me because i am their child. And that they love me no matter what i have done.
Overall this reminds me of how God sees me, and He sees me as His precious child. How God loves me and He loves me so unconditionally. How God seeks me and how He longs to find me and embrace me back into His arms because He was out there worried, just like my parents, on my whereabouts. And He as sought me because i am His own creation. Thank you God. I love you too!

Hi Fr., I attended your retreat last Holy Week ‘2018 at Sacred Heart Church and you mentioned about silences between the lines. How do I know if my “reading between the line” is right? Whether it’s of God’s or just my own making. Thank you for a very inspiring retreat.

“Where are you?”
God is like a loving parent, concerned for our well-being. So often we interpret this as accusatory. But what I think this means is that God is looking out for us. He wants us to know that He will always be there and that we cannot hide our sins and failures from Him.

As I’m doing this retreat for the second time, the “where are you” question from the Lord is so striking…

I heard it with a gentle, loving, worried voice from the Lord. He is seeking me not because of my sin but because He wants to bless me, embrace me….

That tender loving voice, how can I resist Lord but to go back again and again and be at home with you.

“Where are you?” is a striking question.

There are times I feel really guilty praying to God because most often, it is about me asking for favours. Thus, because of this guilt, I become afraid of calling out to him.

But the Lord is faithful and He still looks for me.

I know I always have my doubts — is He real? Is this all pointless?

But I keep assuring myself there is a Being higher and greater than all of us. And that is God.

I pray that that little seed of doubt in my head dies and that I can call out to Him without guilt and reservations.

“Where are you?” asks the Lord.

I am here, Lord. Help me be strong to cast my doubts and live life knowing You are always by my side and that things happen because You will it.

Thank you for this beautiful reflection. The same question struck me as well. I think, “Where are you?” is God’s question to all of us, each of us, chosen to be with Him in our journey towards Him.

Square one is Limited- It’s been 7 yrs and for the 3rd time- my cancer is back and this time is has possibly spread to my lungs and possibly other organs. It’s not that easy to breathe anymore and it’s something I used to take forgranted. I’m fearful because I’m not ready to leave my 4 children and husband.
I think, I feel awkward to talk to God about my illness. I used to think of myself as strong now despite not being in pain, many signs of my illness are showing up. I’m afraid to hear from the Lord that maybe my time is up.

“Where are you?” GOD asked Adam & Eve.

This question arouses all the more in me an awareness of my fallen state and the need to be purified because I have sinned. I feel I am no better than Adam and Eve. That given the same situation, I, like them, will also fail GOD due to my pride and lack of humility.

Yet, GOD wants me back. I have to gaze back, to be reconciled to HIM even though I know I will have to face the consequence of my sin. HE loves me. Going back to HIM will set me free.

Thank you for this. I feel the same constant need to be purified of all my sins. I also thought to myself, I am just like Adam and Eve. In discovering my nakedness, my vulnerability, the tendency is to hide and be ashamed. But in doing that, we stop ourselves from responding to God’s constant call, no matter our mistakes.

Where are you?…is the same question that God is asking me now…I only need to be honest with myself to answer that question. I may not be able to verbalize but I know deep within my heart that there is a certain longing of God!

Just like Adam and Eve, it is hard for me to face God when I feel guilty. I am reminded of a lesson about being in the state of grace. God does not stop seeking us out. But when we sin, we are not in the state of grace. And we do not feel God’s presence when we are not in the state of grace. We need to strive to be in a state of grace as often as possible to be able to face God and feel His presence. To be in this state, we need to be humble and repent, purge, offer our suffering, and surrender to His will.

God wanted to protect the innocence of Adam and Eve by forbidding them to eat the fruit. I saw parallelism in my desire to protect the innocence of my children, to prolong their childlikeness for as long as possible, and to never stop being in awe of their surroundings, most especially of God’s creation. This can be the fuel for instilling discipline in them regarding preserving nature/protecting God’s creation, the way we were meant to be (as the highest form of His creation, we were tasked to oversee and take care of nature). I am also reminded to set a good example to my children.

And just a thought: I think eating the forbidden fruit was the root of all malice. There wasn’t a need to clothe themselves in the garden because they did not know the concept of being naked. It would have been great if we weren’t thrown out of the garden and the only concept we know on why we need to be clothed is to “keep us warm.” Adam and Eve gaining “knowledge” resulted into a more challenging life for us. But I am grateful for the challenge because it renders us more worthy to join God in paradise when we succeed in living His Word daily.

By wanting to protect Adam and Eve’s innocence, I realized that’s what God meant by calling us His children…and that His love for us is unconditional, just as how I love my children.

Even before God asked Adam & Eve “where are you?” He already knew! Even before Eve gave in to temptation He already knew. He might be watching them from afar and when they gave in to temptation, God must have felt so sad rather than angry.

I was given free will by God. But why do I always choose to sin rather than obey Him?

For the part of Adam and Eve, I am pretty sure that before God has called them put, they might have been discussing and bickering. Blaming one another and even blaming the tempted and they might have been making good excuses why they did what they did! Pride must have come in the picture.

Exactly what I would have done when I gave in to temptation. ?

I felt frightened, knowing I got caught. Knowing that I could pretend to other people, but not to GOD. But in His asking ” Where are you?” it’s like God who is all knowing is giving me space to respond to Him at my own pace/time (albeit sheepishly)

From feeling content and complete, I suddenly find myself lacking. And suddenly my feeling the need to have more amidst the plenty, of seeing myself discontented, naked and fully exposed seem shameful and felt compelled to hide…but I was sought.

From feeling content and complete, I suddenly find myself lacking. And suddenly my feeling the need to have more amidst the plenty, of seeing myself discontented, naked and fully exposed seem shameful and felt compelled to hide…but I was sought.

From feeling content and complete, I suddenly find myself lacking. And suddenly my feeling the need to have more amidst the plenty, of seeing myself discontented, naked and fully exposed seem shameful and felt compelled to hide…but I was sought.

I am reminded of my sinfulness that separates me from God. I feel ashamed, withdrawing myself from Him. But what it is in me that God is looking for me? His love is beyond my human understanding. God loves me beyond compare. wherever I may go God is there. If i run away, He will run after me, calling me. God’s love is truly awesome and amazing. I will never understand.

I have sinned yet He has welcomed me. I am shameful of what I have done for He still has accepted me.

That shame is silent too. We are in secret about our disobedience but when found out, the shame from our disobedience turns us silent; we are consumed by guilt. Yet, the good Father seeks us out. The story says that He banished Adam and Eve from the garden. My take on that is, He did so not out of anger, but out of love and forgiveness. The good Father seeks us out, to bring us out of what makes us sin, and in His mercy offers us something new so that we will not commit the same sin again.

Even as we hide, God looks for us. And I guess my takeaway from this is that, He will always look for us — not to berate us or be angry, but to call us home.

When we sin, we are full of guilt and shame. We hide from God. And yet, He seeks us out and looks for us “Where are you?”

I am here Lord. Find me. Take me. Fill my empty heart with your love, forgiveness, grace.

I believe it makes me wonder and ask myself – this past Catholic year, have I been a good christian. Did I try my best to follow God’s way? Or did I make the sacrifice of Jesus worthless with me?

I think about what God felt. He just created the world — all these beautiful things for us. And not very long after, we betray him….

And yet his mercy was readily given.

How many times have I found it difficult to forgive?

My thoughts and reflection:

As I imagine the Genesis narrative on Adam and Eve, this is what I’ve seen:

Adam and Eve were perhaps not afraid of God – they were rather afraid of admitting before God that they have disobeyed Him.

And one thing more I noticed:

I think it’s not only disobedience that constituted the sin of Adam and Eve… I guess it’s the loss of confidence in God and with one another. Such loss of confidence led to a broken relationship with God, with self, and with one another.

I have come to affirm that this scriptural narrative shows our very own reality. I sin/commit mistake. I try to avoid interrogations and scoldings from my mom or from my boss. I tend to lose my confidence and trust that they could still trust and love me in spite of my lapses… just like Adam and Eve did…

Three important things I have considered with the Divine question: “Where are you?”
1. Perhaps when God asked that to Adam and Eve to let them realize their graver mistake which running away and hiding from Him.
2.Or maybe to call Him back
3. And the third point is where I have felt hesitation —- maybe God wanted to seek Adam and Eve… and still meet them as they are, in spite of what they have done

while reflecting, I remember all my frustrations and my mistakes… and yet I wonder on the thought that God has sought me out more than I have tried to search for Him.

How ironic it is when we go hiding when God comes looking for us … And then we wonder why God seems so absent in our lives …

In an instant everything changed. Disobedience and pride has consequences. Our hope when we repent is not only in God’s forgiveness but in God being with us as we face the consequences.

CONSCIENCE – this was awakened when the couple realized they did wrong
GUILT AND EMBARRASSMENT – this prompted the couple to hide from the truth
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE – like the father reaching out to the prodigal son, the Creator reaches out and looks for the missing couple

When the Lord appears, they hid themselves. I sometimes in my life, If I done something wrong I tend to hid and even to God. I felt ashamed with myself but God is constant in looking for me. Where are you? Remain in me.

Looking at the image, it looks like the fruit of the tree of knowledge looks very enticing which made it hard for Eve and Adam to resist. What made it more appealing I guess is the excellent selling skills of the serpent which made them buy the idea of eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. Isn’t that happening to this very day in the form of other enticing matters. I’m guilty.

When God asked Adam and Eve, “Where are you?,” He knew both could hear Him well. So it was like a question of are you near or far from me. I feel that I am closer to God now, but at times I could be far away because of the distractions and temptations that are always present.

When God asked the question “Where are you?,” He knew Adam and Eve could hear Him. It was like a question of whether you are near or far away from Him. I would like to think that I am near God’s grace and am thankful that I have not strayed away too far though temptations that lead you away are always around.

Father God, thank You that whatever and wherever state I am You continue to search for me. You never let me go inspite of the many times I fail and disappoint You.

When we are truly in God’s covenant we have no fear, desire for other things, shame, anxiety, depression, worry about what others think of us.

Adam and Eve realized they committed sin and disobeyed God. I think it is the same feeling of guilt and negativity when I also go against God’s will for me.

Before the fall, Adam & Eve had a child-like curiosity as adults and never had any experience of negativity. Even the snake looked friendly. As soon as they woke and fell, negative emotions had set in- pretty regular and frequent emotions of the adults which we know now are ‘normal’ which were never encountered before the fall.

Distinctly, negative thoughts and emotions played up within themselves almost immediately. It started with the “knowing”. Seeing themselves naked for the first time might have elicited not just shame but perhaps lust for each other. Fear stepped in as soon as they heard God’s footsteps. They lost the peace that was in themselves. We imagine how the fear further escalated when God asked “Where are you?” They “knew” God was angry and so fear became worse. Anger was a concept that was not known before the fall but was known because it was connected to their fear. Innocence, joyful curiosity and purity– the qualities of a child– were lost forever in adults.

I can relate to what our first parents felt because those are the same stuff I experience. Muddled up inside makes my sight hazy, dark and my heart always afraid.

What Adam and Eve felt after they ate the forbidden fruit is just like how I feel whenever I did something wrong. Without thinking about the consequences, we just tend to do things. Not because it feels right but because it is what we wanted to do at that time. And when the deed is over, we feel remorseful for something we knew all along is not right. Then we do all excuses to justify what we did or we can just admit our mistake and face the truth, which we know is difficult. Adam and Eve just resorted to hiding because they did not know how to face the truth.

Upon eating the fruit, their eyes were opened to how vulnerable they really were. Being vulnerable is terrifying and so they protected themselves. It’s like damage control. I take control when my life goes awry or when I feel exposed to potential suffering or pain.

Then, I felt that as God was looking for them, yes they felt guilty for eating the fruit but I also think they doubted God. How can God allow us to wander around naked– exposed and vulnerable? Is the garden safe? What if something bad happens? Why didn’t God tell us we were naked?

On the other hand, I “heard” God calling out to them, to me, tenderly and out of genuine concern.

“Where are you?” I realised that everytime i hid from the Lord, afraid that i will be judged and punished because of my sins, shortcomings and being irresponsible…i know HE always look for me, and will always wait for me to come back home…

We humans are bound to commit sins and God will always forgive us, He saved us all using his own Son for he loves us more than anything else in this world, God love us even if we can’t love him back.

New thoughts / discoveries on this passage:
1. We were born to be naturally curious, just as children are naturally curious about new things, new people, and new environment.

2. While I was imagining how the story transpired, I imagined that when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and “came to their senses”, they started to feel afraid of what God might do or say, since He forbade them to eat it.

3. I also felt that God had put Adam and Eve to the test, and He was anxious of what would happen next, after they had eaten the fruit. So He started looking for them right away. It’s like a parent leaving a piece of chocolate out in the open, within reach of his child; the parent instructs the child not to eat it, and then leaves the kid alone with the chocolate. Naturally curious, the child eats it and discovers how delicious it is. He goes off to a corner to finish the chocolate, hiding from the parent. When the parent returns and finds both the kid and the chocolate gone, he begins to feel worried and starts looking for his child.

What I was able to read “silently” from the scripture was the guilt probably felt by Adam and Eve. When they realised the consequences of their actions – that they became aware of their nakedness and they disobeyed God. Also, we can relate to this experience when we commit mistakes. It is clear that we will have to answer to God and that He will seek us as His children.

Whenever I’ve done something wrong, my tendency is to hide from God and from the significant others. Yet God calls me, “Where are you?”.

Our God is a persistent lover. He does not give up on me, he does not get tired in pursuing me back to him.

God never left Adam and Eve before, during and after they have sinned. For me, it is not only that they disobeyed God’s command,they forgot that they are ever in the presence of God, that they are of His image. That image was always there, yet they did not live up to it and succumbed to a kind of forgetting…This is much like the times I would forget that I am of God’s and would prefer to be someone else, to choose and to love something else that is not God (or of God). Their eyes were opened and saw that they were naked but that knowledge brought them shame because they saw the consequence, they saw the things that are not of God, the reality of evil, of a life without God, that is, without Love. But God haunts the lost because love can never rest until the beloved is found…

This was the first time when I thought of Adam and Eve’s nakedness as a state of having nothing to offer God and being unworthy. Until their eyes were opened, the love of God gave them the perception they were worthy.

In Genesis 3, the scripture was silent about Adam and Eve’s sense of shame, the feeling when I am in a state of sin, and my own response would be silence, hiding in gadgets, in other forms.

I was struck with God’s phrase “ Where are you?”, it is the God, my God who seeks no matter how sinful and disobedient I am. God could have just not searched for them because He is God, He would not have heard their side, because He is God.

Adam and Eve’s silence is my own, as I reflect on my own sense of loss of words when I could not explain what is happening around me. Their silence may mean ” Why did we choose evil over good, at that moment when we were given a choice”. It may mean the silence of the sense of loss because they knew that they have disobeyed God.

God asks, “Where are you?”

Here I am, God.
A sinner who does not deserve You. But You never seem to give up on me when everyone else has. Teach me to always hear You especially in times when I am lost, confused and afraid. Grant me the grace of humility to accept You in my life despite my sins and imperfections.

This, I pray.

I never realized the depth of adam and eve’s shame till now. Either they were ashamed because they were naked or because they disobeyed God. I can relate to it as I feel this way when I sin. I hide myself from people because I am ashamed of myself. But I’m struck with how God still tried to look for them despite them disobeying Him. It humbles me to know that despite our sins, God would still call on us.

Adam was in shame.
Adam might have felt afraid of losing Eve and the paradise. He could have set plans for them, already. He could have been in-love with her. And knowing the consequences of their actions, he was afraid to lose everything. His fear defined his actions. He was in shame.
I saw myself in Adam. I couldn’t let go of control. I couldn’t surrender and come out of hiding. I am afraid of God’s punishment. I am afraid to let go of what I have built and planned for myself.
Today, and through this retreat, I commit to surrender to a loving and ever understanding God. He has better plans for me. He is bigger than all my pains and fears. I am His beloved.

There is no need for shame or guilt. Being vulnerable is being free to be who we are, loving unconditionally

Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the passage did not say that He got angry at them. He gently sought them out in spite of their sin. As human parents, our initial reaction when our children disobey us would usually be to raise our voices and scold our children. Our God is a loving Father who always soughts us out amd ready to welcome us back even if we sin and run away from him.

When God asks “where are you?”

He constantly looks for us, He is a constant presence in our lives. Sadly, we normally go astray, away from the path He gave us. That is when we are lost, lost even to ourselves. We get preoccupied by daily things and tasks, we lose sight of who we are. The silence in between, it is when we are stripped of everything we have, or everything we are, for us to realize that without God, we are nothing.

For me when the ate the forbidden fruit, it was the dawn of their maturity. Its like God always knew that will happen and that was his plan all along. He wants to fill the earth with people who suppose to love each other and fill the world with happiness. But sadly…

“The eyes of [Adam and Eve] were opened.” We only get to see what we have done, who we are, when we see ourselves in the gaze of another. Shame and humility only happens when we acknowledge the gaze of another — most especially God’s gaze. When we are too preoccupied with our selves, our own issues, fears, desires, we tend to overlook how our selfish and mindlessness comes at the expense of others, and of our relationship with God.

Nakedness … vulnerability because of the realization that we sinned and displeased God … Shame,guilt, a feeling of hope lessness … our default is to cover up our sins … and to hide from Him …
Yet, he still searches for us … reaching out to us …
“Sam, where are you?”
We just need to respond and acknowledge where we are … admit our sins … our helplessness …

God said, “Where are you?” God knows everything and He knew what the first couple had done and where they are. But God asks the question knowing the answer. God does so because he wants Man to exercise the freedom to respond to God, to realize the mistake one has done…Most of all, God wants Man to respond to His call…to return back to God’s Peace. Whatever happened to the First Man and Woman. Did they repent, turn away from sin and choose to do good? We do not know, but what we know is God did not act in wrath and condemn the couple to hell. Instead God sends ahis Son to raise us to an even higher status.

Adam and Eve had everything yet they disobeyed God. In their nakedness they realized the sin they committed and covered themselves out of shame. God looked for them but they hid themselves instead of admitting what they did wrong. And God continue to search for them “where are you?”

Indeed God knows where to meet us. But sometimes out of shame of the sins we committed we chose to hide from the things that we thought could cover us from our sins, our pain and our brokeness and our fears. But God, loving and merciful as he is, continue to look for us and seek us “where are you?”

Thank you Lord for this reminder that sin do separate us from you. You are always there for us, ready to accept us, we just have to be humble before you and admit our sins that we may be found and be given a second chance.

Its time to come out of hiding and be found.

God knew what Adam and Eve did but did not get angry. I believe, God pitied them because of the consequence of their actions. HE also knew where they were, but still asked “where are you?” so that Adam & Eve will come out of their hiding place when they choose to, because God respected the free will that he gave to them.

Yes, I closed my eyes and my ears , denying that I was hurting. And denying that I was sinning.

And , suddenly , I found myself face to face with all that I had long denied… and all at the same time . So overwhelming.
And I was so humiliated. Naked in my imperfection. In view of all .
But even as I hid from even the people I love, I heard His voice asking “where are you”

God is there all along.. God, soul, spirit. We have our own interpretations of God. Adam and Eve’s act of getting away for me is a an act of seeking the truth. And the truth is God. “What you seek is within you..” It’s there all along.. You have to be still, don’t run away from it.

Before they sinned, what was that which covered their eyes from realising their nakedness? I realised, they were covered with The love of God. When they chose to disobey God, They threw aside the cloak of God’s love and saw their nakedness. Adam & Eve must have felt not only shame for what they did but for each other. Adam blamed Eve for making him eat of the fruit. Eve on the other hand blamed Adam for not stopping her, knowing Adam who first came before her should have known more and better.
I saw myself in Eve. My sins kept the cloak of God’s Love slipping from me all the time. I hide behind the Ministry work that I do in the hope that that would help me secure it in place. I avoid admitting my own nakedness.

When we sin, we feel naked or exposed. So we try to cover things up by either denying we did it or trying to justify why we did it. Instead of hiding our sin, it just exposes what we did wrong.
By not acknowledging our sin(s), we ending up hiding from God…being further away from Him. Sin makes us push away from God…which the devil wants.
We don’t realize that God will always be there for us. No matter how sinful we are. He is committed to us even if we are not fully committed to Him. That is why he was calling out, “Where are you?”.

I felt them. Like when I sinned, maybe, I too,covered it up. How good God is. He knew but He still sought me.

Many times, we go about our business without a thought about God. We forget life is discovering God’s love in everything. When we do remember, we realize our weakness, feeling exposed, naked. But we came into this world naked. I think our nakedness, in fact, draws us closer to God because we acknowledge we need Him and there is no life without Him. When we are weak, God is strong.

We may find Adam and Eve as quite stubborn people. They were gifted with paradise, yet one simple instruction to not eat the forbidden fruit, they could not even follow. And these two are actually our parents. Adam and Eve represent who we are: always falling into temptation in spite of God’s love. How many times have we hidden from the presence of God because of shame? Yet He is there, the ever merciful God, calling us and asking, “Where are you?” Let us pray for the grace to overcome our shame and answer God’s call, and let Him enter our lives.

that’s the first question of God to the humans: where are you?
this is a god who meets us where we are, indeed.

Like me, I wonder if they felt heavy and tired. Did they feel anxious at being naked with all they had done exposed. Were they fearful of the unknown.

what struck me was the part of the passage that said
“they heard the presence of God ” – the grace of “seeing” God’s presence, the grace of FAITH – that only comes from Him who asks ” where are you ” Truly a generous and loving Father. Even before hearing HIM ask where are you ? He knew already.

Though we hide from the Lord, he patiently asks us “Where are you?”. He gives us the space and freedom to be found.

When God instructed Adam and Eve of a specific prohibition just a single one among a variety of choices, God was setting limits to our freedom for our own good. After choosing to do what Adam and Eve knew was beyond them, they knew they’ve messed up but instead of owning up to their misgiving they felt afraid of God’s possible punishment. “where are you?” Makes us quiver in fear. This is an invitation for me to respond in love as a committed wife, mother and formator. I feel the weight of doing the right thing but is now reminded, doing the right thing is in itself an avenue of love and God is here to grace me with continued fervor and commitment, so that whatever is dragging (doing the right thing) borne in love with God’s grace will turn out joyful

Nothing is ever fulfilling when you put God in te Center of everything. His love is fulfilling and divine that has chosen us and has given us the chance of living for others as we give all the Highest glory to him- our saviour. He is God who will choose us because of His love for the world.

and you ask me “where I am?”
well, here I am, God, in my thirties and tired.
Maybe this is where we can meet?

I am sorry but i can’t love you anymore.

You see I tried. But every single day of this journey, I failed to live up to what is expected of me as your son…

i am sorry, really sorry. I cannot offer you anything beautiful.

We are all sinners and far from perfect – God knows that, yet He still loves us despite our nature. He will always understand us, and what’s important is we cling to Him and seek Him in all that we do. Everyday is a chance to be closer to Him and to live out His will for our lives.

I know what you’re going through. Praying for you.

Hi Patrick,
The fact that you are here in this retreat is actually where you are and where God is meeting you.
I am thankful for everyone in this retreat.

I am a poor sinner ….. but I want to be reached by God…

God accepts your sorry. Sometimes, I feel the same, but I realize, I am labeling God as someone who is critical. He is loving and merciful. Let’s keep in touch with God, He’ll show the way and just enjoy the journey.

Fear!…..when I’ve done something wrong, there is always fear!
Shame! …..for God knows everything!
Assurance! Gratitude!…..for He is always at my side, never leaving me, ever ready to answer my prayers, despite and in spite of what I did…of who I am!

When they hid from God, I felt their terror. When God called out and asked, “Where are you”, I felt His sadness.

Why were they afraid of being naked when they were naked all along? How did they feel hearing God calling them? How did God feel when they were hiding from Him?

God is all knowing and yet He asked…reminds me that even God is concerned about the person and not of what one has done. His mercy and love is overwhelming.

This story illustrates God’s unwavering love for us. Yes, he did punish them later on in the story, but by asking Adam “Where are you?”, he clearly did not want to leave him and Eve even though nagkasala sila. God is a God of second chances, so I think the unwritten scenes of the story presents the theme of repentance, forgiveness and redemption (as seen later on in Good Friday).

Why do they need to hide among the trees? The trees there must be tall and full of leaves and fruits. Are the trees their securities?

Why are they afraid of the Lord God? Hindi ba nila naranasan ang pagmamahal ng Panginoon? Hindi ba nila alam na maawain at mapagpatawad ang Ama?

Ako, bakit ako nagtatago? Bakit kailangan pa akong hanapin ng Panginoon?

Like most of us sinners, whenever we defy God’s ways or instructions , we feel embarrass and get worried or feel afraid of God’s displeasure , anger or dissapointment with us… we feel unworthy or others become defensive and alienated but because of God’s unconditional and infinite love for us nit to mention respecting our exercize of our free will, He calls us and rescues us and gives us the Grace to become repentant and be reconciled with Him every time we fall into sin.

Very evidently, God wants and gives only what’s best for us, alongside with the free will to choose. He sets the commandments for us to follow, hoping that we’d obey them, but then when we choose not to, He seeks us first. Like a loving parent, God finds his missing child first, before asking him to confess what happened….

“Where are you?”…. truly the words of a loving and caring God.

HE knows how Adam & Eve have sinned and are embarassed & “afraid” to show themselves to Him…yet, He calls out to them.

We are all “Adam & Eve”, embarassed and ashamed to face the Lord when we have sinned. But, the Lord shows us His great love & mercy by calling upon us in spite of what we’ve done.
He calls us (always)….it is up to us to come to Him.

I felt like Adam and Eve (just like me) tried to hide from God for they were afraid that their disobedience will be discovered.

God asking “where are you?” in the scene made me imagine myself as a parent when, coming home from work, the first I’d ask is “where are you (my children)?” At this point, I feel God come alive as a Father, who’d also yearn to find me whenever He comes home. And just like Adam and Eve, because I have been disobedient, I feel like hiding from God, running away from Him because I feel scared, embarassed and at the same time sorry for not following His will.

The first slide struck me.
“Then the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened and they knew they were naked.”
A lot of times, i go through life thinking i am doing the will of God.
I make plans and in my arrogance presume it is what God wants for me. Often times though, it is self-serving and not really what God wants from me.
And often times, it takes months, even years before God reveals his truth to me, maybe because He knows when i am ready to listen.

I see God’s love and grace when Adam & Eve’s eyes were opened and they knew they were naked. It is a time of reckoning and only light can dispel darkness. I need your grace Lord to see clearly.

Thank you Lord for this retreat, for the grace to come to u in prayer.

The figs that cover one up: desire for power , coveting wealth and possessions , render my soul unrecognizable and invisible to Father God.
why would being naked before God be embarrassing? Better to face the music. Only Jesus can grace my soul when i face the music! Courage.

Self-conscious that they were naked, feeling embarrassed that they felt the need cover themselves;
Realizing they disobeyed, feeling guilty that they felt the need to hide

Trying to be in their character, feelings of being at that “point of no return”, helplessness, hopelessness, and shame that you’d rather be invisible, surfaced.

Initially, I found it odd that God asked, “Where are you?”. But it seemed a call from God to come out of hiding. It was, to me, a call “forcing” them to face their wrongdoing/mistake and not completely get “lost”.

When God called out to them, “Where are you?”, I felt a sadness, knowing that there was a change brought about by going against God’s will. There was only one thing that they were asked not to do and yet they went against that command. Set against the perfection of Eden where in my child’s eye from lessons past, Eden was the perfect world, the happy place — Paraiso. And then, Adam and Eve, like us here in our time, fell to temptation. We distance ourselves from Him and yet he calls, “Where are you?”

Just wondering, if there’s perfection in the paradise of Eden already, then why would Adam and Eve still fall to temptation? To me temptation happens when there’s an unmet need or desire. But if everything’s perfect already, why still fall to temptation?

In the game ‘hide-and-seek’, the “it” cries out “where are you?” if he/she fails to find his/her playmates. It is a call for plea to turn oneself in from one’s hiding place.

God call out to us “where are you?”, but are we willing to show up to him?

Just like Adam and Eve who hid themselves, there seems to be false consolation to remain hidden and anonymous rather than being revealed.

More often we hide and sanitize our true selves that it takes God to ask us a rhetorical question “Where are you?”. He asks for our sake not for his so that we end up asking ourselves “Nasaan na nga ba ako?”

“Where are you? A question that I always ask myself when big big troubles and problems hit me. That for me shows I cannot reach God no matter how I try. I am always looking for Him in my deepest moment. I have to find Him. He is also looking for me without me knowing it.

As a child, I’ve always imagined God in this story as a big voice up in the clouds. It gave me an image of a God who is strong, mighty, and all-knowing–but distant. Reading the story again today, what struck me was the line which depicted God walking in the garden and searching for Adam and Eve. It gave me a different image of God–this time, someone who walks among us. We commit sin, but the Lord never abandons us and even searches for us.

“Where are you?”
That’s the first question.
Not “What did you do?”
Not “I told you…”
God reaches out to where we are.

Adam and Eve were given the free will by God, but they chose to disobey him. In our own life, God gives us that free will too. What are we doing with that free will God has given us? What have we chosen to do? So, God asks us now, as he asks Adam and Eve, “ Where are you? “

‘Kutob’ is what came to mind. Like what a parent would feel when they think something went wrong or something bad happened to their children. That’s what I thought God when through in this scripture.

As I was reading the scripture..I was struck most when God was looking for Adam. No doubt God was worried when He could not find Adam, He knew something was wrong. And it somehow relates to me. I felt God was also looking for me right now asking me, “Where are you, Christian?” And somehow I keep hiding because of shame or distract from things that I have right now. 🙁

My disclose about Adam and Eve is that God seeks for us even we committed sin. We’re ashamed because we know that God will forgive us how big our sin committed.

To this day, God continues to ask us “Where are you?” He’s always there seeking us, even when we hide ourselves from him.

One word that entered my mind after reflecting on Adam and Eve’s story is “guilt”; they hid because they were guilty of defying God. They knew what they did was wrong, but they did it anyway. Like Adam and Eve, there are times when I am also guilty of disobeying God.

Adam and Eve may have blamed each other for disobeying God, and then were surprised, and maybe even thankful, that despite their sin, God sought them. Despite our sins, God always makes a way to bring us back to Him. That is how much he loves us.

I realized that it was probably the first time God had to ask that question – to look for them. It didn’t say how they were before but I guess it was one of joyful welcoming instead of shameful avoidance.

Strangely, I was thinking that God might be naked like our first parents in Eden. Scripture did not talk about that. Moreover, we do not know whether God was angry or not. God was still seeking and calling God’s beloved people.

I wonder what happened next? did they show themselves to God or did they remain hidden. It would have been easier to remain hidden.

God, being all-knowing and all-seeing, knew where they were, but just had to let them know he was looking for them to let them know that He still loved them. Perhaps it helps to ask ourselves the question “Where am I ?” Just to check if we are on the path where He wills us to be.

It dawned on me that the story was like a portrayal of human development. We were born innocent and full of positive things around us. As we grew, we became conscious of things and events around us. We started to interact and realized that life is complicated. We experienced the challenges in life and commit mistakes left and right. We had good times but the bad times drown us. We then focus more on our burdens rather than the blessings. We forgot how blessed we are. We forgot that we are children of God, called and chosen. We became sinful and yet, God has not abandoned us. He still called us no matter how far or how long we have been separated from Him. The part where He said, “Where are you?”, touched me the most. Despite of breaking and hiding away from Him, He still look for us. He only has love for us. What more can we ask for?

I realized that their shame is not just because they are naked but because they are now aware that they broke God’s law and trust of them. They knew that and were ashamed that they cannot face him and hid themselves from him.

Upon reading the story of Adam and Eve, one thing that disclosed to me is the part when God called Adam, asking “where are you?”. I felt I am like Adam, searched by God, asking, “where are you”?

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