Saturday, February 26, 2011

Regarding Mr. Lewis

I'm in the middle of reading Robert Lewis's book, New Eve, and I have to say that I am having a lot of trouble taking what he says seriously. In this book he is trying to teach women what it means to be a woman by studying Eve. Unfortunately Mr. Lewis spends too very little time on Eve as a woman. For me, his book is yet another foray into this type of feminism tittled "New Feminism" which links womanhood explicitly with being a wife and motherhood.

Now my criticism does not lie with marriage and motherhood, not in the least, but I do have a problem with linking womanhood only to marriage and motherhood. It leaves a gapping hole for women who are single and childless. And while Lewis and many other New Feminist state that single woman with no children can become "spiritual mothers" to those around them, it doesn't seem as if this is enough. Now none of the information or writers that I have looked at says this in black and white, but one gets the feeling that spiritual mothers are not exactly equal to real mothers. This leads me to wonder over and over: if I am not a wife or a mother, am I not a woman? To which I have to say, absolutely not. It seems even ridiculous to me that even an idea can exist. However, it does. And its on that lately I've been coming against.

In his book, Mr. Lewis lists three core truths for a woman (at least one that is trying to be a new Eve). These core truths are: leave and cleave, be fruitful and multiply, and to advance God's kingdom. Now while I believe that these three things are necessary for any woman that is a believer of God, I do not think that they are the most important three of a woman's life (the last one is something that all believers have been charged with keeping). Why isn't a relationship with God, knowing who you are in God, knowing what God has created you to do part of a woman's core calling? I understand that Mr. Lewis is using Eve, but he, like so many other writers and thinkers, only start Eve's life when she is brought to Adam. The Bible, on the other hand, states that Eve had an existence before Adam.

Genesis 2:22 says, "And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man." The Bible tells us that God brought woman to man after woman was made. Therefore there was a time in the life of Eve that she did not know Adam. I have been wondering over this past week what that time would have been like for Eve. Was this the time that she spent knowing her God? Was this her bonding time with her Creator?

I have always loved to imagine the creation of Eve. I always picture her appearing in the shade of trees, in a clearing. It is a private place where no one else is allowed for this moment. There's a slight wind, the breath of God wavering over this place waiting for her to stir, waiting for her to open her eyes. But her's is a patient God, He will wait for her to come to life here in this place that has been set apart for only the two of them. She inhales, her lungs tasting and processing air for the first time. She moves her head, she twitches her fingers and toes, the first of their kind. She opens her eyes and turns her head. Has she heard something? Then she realizes that she has had a thought. They begin to flood her, but not to weigh her down, but instead link her more with the new world around her. Someone is telling her to stand. It is a voice that invites her to find Him, a voice kind and authoritarian though she knows nothing of either word at this moment. All she knows is that this is a voice that speaks to her at her core. It is a voice that she wants to find, to follow, to commit too. She figures out that she possess the ability to move. She sits up and discovers her hands, following them down to her arms. Her hands move over her body, not knowing what it is, but knowing that its her's. She is the ultimate baby. Her toes fascinate her, her legs something long and attached to her feet. "Stand" the voice whispers in excitement. She has never stood before, has never seen anyone stand, and yet she staggers to her feet, drawing herself up to her full height. She smiles in delight. She lifts up her head to the tree tops and squints at the slants of light finding their way through the leaves. Another word comes to her ears, "walk". What is walking, she suddenly knows. She moves a foot, lifting it in the air, and putting it down further then where it was. The next foot throws her off balance, and she stumbles, falling down into the moss under her feet. She's not hurt; there is no pain in this place. Nonetheless, the voice fills the clearing, washing over her, encouraging her to try again. She likes the voice. Ever since she became it had been calling to her. Telling her how beautiful she was, how much he loved her. She had no knowledge of beauty or love, but she knew this voice. It lived in her being; it was a part of her soul and essence. It's words were her sustainment and livelihood.

This is what I like to imagine when I think of Eve. I like to think of her alone with God. I like to think of her in this private place with only her Creator. Perhaps this is the point in her life that we as women today need to identify with first. Perhaps as women of God today, we need to get to this place where all we know and breath is God. Before we can meet our Adam, we have to experience our God on a personal level that cuts us to the very essence of ourselves. Eve isn't woman until she meets Adam. Before that she is a creation of God. She is His and no one else. I think this and all I can conclude is that I am God's first and man's second. Therefore my core callings pertain to God first and to man second. That means that marriage and motherhood fall in the silver pedestal while God takes the gold. To me, this is what it means to be a New Eve. It means loving God first and letting Him fill me till I overflow.

And in light of that, I cannot agree with Mr. Lewis. Not in the least.

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