Poem Eugene C. Scott, Art Michelangelo’s Creation of Eve
Reblogged this on Spontaneous Creativity.
Thank you, Eugene. That poem was a gift to me on a rather sad and lonely Mother’s Day. I know it’s a “Hallmark Holiday” so-called, but nonetheless, as a mom, it’s nice to be recognized. As I pray for my daughter, who seems to be lost in the darkness and immersed in herself, I also recognize that the Imago Dei is imprinted in her soul…and I pray for it to shine forth as it should. Would you pray for her? I know you will.
I hope it was a good day, Linda. I will pray for her.
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Hello again!,… so glad to see your post!,… my computer froze shortly after I read it, and it’s had to undergo some extended defraggling and cleaning, but it’s/(we’re) back!,… thank goodness,… I have to ask you this question,… do men not have an Imago Dei in their souls too?,… (I think I seriously “need” to know the answer to this!,… & thanking you in advance!),… g
Hi, Georgie-ann. Sorry to hear about your computer. Good to be talking to you again.
The trouble with digital communication is it does not communicate the nuance of language and therfore I cannot read between the lines and determine the nature of your question. I have to try to answer your question without knowing why you ask. Did my poem imply otherwise? Does your life experinece imply otherwise?
So, the simple answer is “yes.” Genesis 1:26-27 says it clearly: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
I will leave it at that for now.
Thanks!,… I didn’t really know if that was what your poem was implying or not ~~ and I’m not a Latin scholar, to be able to understand any implied grammatical issues,… anyway, I’m glad for your answer,… What I wonder actually, (what I “need” to know), is about the subtle differences (if any) between male and female in this regard,… I like your description for Eve,… but a lot of times it is said (due to meanings in ancient language translations) that God kind of roughly threw Adam together, and then fine-tuned Eve,… Although this is an interesting description, and my own personal experience (being female) would mirror that of Eve, I just wonder how men perceive their portion of this description,…
For my own portion (re: life experience), it is very true that I perceive God very intimately as my own (much needed) Helper, and if that inspires me to be that in ways for others as well, then this is a good thing,… but what/how do men perceive/experience in these matters?,…
Perhaps the implied urgency is due to a sudden extreme frustration with a “new” situation that has arisen with the recent move-in of a(n old, gross) male smoker (heavy/chain/addicted/rude/insensitive/you-name it) to a very close-by contiguous apartment in a senior complex, in an area that has had very peaceful and considerate relationships, that have become very happily “close-knit” over time,… and we’ve had a smoker (but a considerate one, who would walk away to smoke) in the past. We’re mostly, but not all, female, and this rude dude is torturing us with his inconsiderate (he assumes “has the right to”) and incessant (morning noon and mid-night) chain smoking,… I, personally, find it quite unpleasant, but there are elderly people here (in very close breathing range/bedrooms, porches) with emphysema, diabetes, allergies, for whom this is even more immediately dangerous. I won’t go into all the “issues” of rules & regulations, because my own efforts have been more to appeal to his (supposed) potential for human “common decency” and consideration,… but it doesn’t really appear that he is motivated by any,… all the while acting “like a sitting regal prince in all-too-obvious toad’s clothing”,…
So, this has me wondering all over again, just what IS the rock-head, tone-deaf, problem with (some) “males”? It’s so proverbial that it would almost be funny, if it weren’t so dangerously irritating and threatening,… It’s easy to say, it looks like “he thinks HE is God’s gift to the planet” and so he doesn’t need to take into consideration the expressed needs of others, and that’s a description of ego,… but we know deep inside there are other needs and realities under the surface,… and perhaps a need for Salvation is one of them,… (my guess, of course, is that it is!),… but what I wonder is: if a mere man thinks (acts like) he is God, then what does he need/search for/look for in God?,… what is he still yearning for under that callous outer surface?,… what “should” God mean to him?,… what Imago Dei did God imprint on his soul that deep inside he needs to find?,… perhaps you can shed some light on this for me & I would certainly be very happy to be enlightened in these matters!,… (-:
When I’ve had the not-so-blessed occasions of being this “up close and personal” with the intractable male types, finding that common decency doesn’t really ever register in meaningful ways in their mental computers, my best choice is to “put safe distance” in between,… but for the now moment, we’re all stuck in an untenable situation, which one grandiose person could make a lot better for everyone by finding his true Imago Dei which resides somewhere in his soul,… but I’m just wondering,… what is that supposed to “look like”/(feel like) for a man?,…
Thanks for any insight(s) you can offer! (-:
I’m so sorry to hear that you are living in such close quarters with male fallenness. It sounds difficult (you ought to try being one of us :)). Change and newness are often hard enough even when it is wanted and enjoyable.
But your question is a good one (and hard). Better minds than mine have wrestled with it. But I’ll give it my try. First, there is no difference in the language describing the image of God in us. His image is the same in you and me and this unfortunate addict. And, to my knowledge, there is no way the language implies God threw men together first and more sloppily, though it makes for good fodder for comedy. Psalm 139 reminds us God artistically creates each of us in the womb.
The take-away lesson for us then is for us to see, respect, love, treat the other–male and female–as if of incalculable value because of the Artist who created us. That’s the juxtaposition. You and I are mere dust until he breathes in us. But then comes chapter three of Genesis.
So, what you have is a tarnished, defaced, smelly Rembrandt living next to you. And he probably doesn’t even know it. Certainly is not acting it. Again the story of Genesis lets us know we are all tarnished works of art. I simply may hide some of my blemishes better–or they have become acceptable to others. Or–better yet–Christ is redeeming them. He is making my beauty from ashes. Yours too. And your natty neighbor’s?
How would you react toward a tarnished Rembrandt that you found in a hidden closet? What if you react to this living one in the same way?
Second, obviously, though, there are created differences in men and women. How the dust was shaped around the Image is different. If the womb is one of the important gifts/differences between men and women that is now being abused by many men and women, what is the male counter part? (By the way, go to http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=39c_1368515756 to see a funny piece on men in labor). I would say it has to do with our aggressive, protective, kingly nature (though I don’t buy the bunk that if women ruled the world there would be no war. There would just be different war.) You might read some studies on male and female genetic differences and see how that corresponds with Genesis 1-3.
Here, however, we step on dangerous ground because much of our culture believes, in this specific context, that “different” means unequal. I don’t believe that. My poem tried to address that.
What are the God created differences? Some say that God is so vast and multifaceted that in order for his image to be truly refracted in human life it takes men and women of all colors, shapes, sizes, etc., to even get close. I believe that’s true. But his base models are men and women. But here we fall into stereo-types that have been misused, misunderstood, and resisted. Your neighbor probably is acting out of his genetic, created design that has been twisted and misused. I’m not sure what value there would be in saying, “Ah yes, he’s a chain-smoking, hard-headed lunk because the maleness of the image of God in him is broken.”
Maybe it would be more helpful to simply see him as one of God’s children who is broken and in need of God’s grace, just as you and I are.
I know this is inadequate. But I hope it is helpful in some way.
Signed, A man in much need of God’s grace.
You did very well, Oogene!,… I knew I threw you a possibly overloaded and problematic pitch, but we DO have a real and vexing problem here, experienced at very close range in our midst, at this point in time,…
I enjoy the idealized and beautiful presentations of “who we are in Christ”, scripturally inspired, concerning our relationship to Him and to each other, male and female concerns, etc, that we find in Scripture, and expounded upon by writers and preachers in countless ways throughout time,… but “ideal” is one thing and “life” is often another! (-:
What would I do with a tarnished Rembrandt? If I had the knowledge and the tools, I would go to work directly and right away, on carefully, but deliberately and mercilessly (on the tarnish), scraping the gross mildew (or whatever) off and permanently disposing of it,… leaving hopefully the beautiful Rembrandt intact.
Having addressed this “offending mildew” honestly (in this case, presenting the factual information, along with a plea to any vestiges of a “heart of compassion” that might voluntarily sacrifice some fixed idea of smoking location, in order to make considerate adjustments for the betterment of the atmospheric conditions of those suffering in nearby proximity), I am stuck, because the next step gets involved with using force,… some forms of which are not permitted, and others requiring petitions, rules, law enforcement, reports, eviction proceedings, expense, aggravation, etc,… a lot of very unnecessary and frustrating work and distraction, compared to winning some voluntary cooperation,…
So, what’s the answer?,… definitely not “dying a martyr’s death, in suffering silence and faked external politeness, trying to look like a good Christian”, because of someone else’s intransigent intractable and disrespectful position(s). It IS the “Truth that will set us free.” I dislike using the paths of force, anyway/however, because I would much rather that people would act/respond freely, out of their own agreeing will, rather than in resentful and forced submission to another’s will,… although sometimes that becomes a necessary part of a real and fair solution.
Prayer, see what God says, lay the groundwork for “a case” if need be, continue “speaking to the situation,”… we’ll see what happens,…
But it did arouse the question of what makes this type of gent “tick”,… and what aspect of God could reach and aid his soul, (and our experience!) I actually think this type of questioning and honesty is very important in this day and age, when so much self-satisfied personal “lawlessness” abounds, and our “social mores” from an (at one time) “more Christianized” era, are not very effective in stemming the tide of common violations,… allowing much too much headway and free reign to the determined, self-righteous and committed vice purveyors.
& Thanks for your answer! (-:
Dear Eugene,… I spent some time commenting on other blogs during your “silence”,… Recently, I made a series of comments on a topic I am omitting specifically here,… but it did involve some comments on female-male issues, and since you did a really nice job of trying to address some of those in your reply to me, I thought I’d make a composite edit of several individual comments, lumping them into one edited (sort of piecemeal) “whole”,… In referring to “men” and “women”, it is more in a generalized “what you find going on in life” sense, than in any “failed Christian” sense,… and it is intended to be more descriptive, than an indictment,… but, as you pointed out — Christian or not — we do all carry the tendencies for these commonplace types of baggage to appear,… and, more to the point, I think my intractable neighbor helped to “inspire” some of them,… or maybe I was just “working out some frustration”,… (-:
(… … …) This further thought has just occurred to me: What has happened to our collective society, with the rise of the angry self-assertive feministas and their belligerent (and blinded) agenda, is the actual transformation of (or perhaps “war” between) patriarchal to matriarchal forms and styles of “doing” life.
This represents broad sweeping changes in the paradigms by which we operate and make decisions. The Judeo-Christian historical patterns are essentially patriarchal, inclined to thought, order and goals and achievements, based on work, deferred gratification/(i.e., voluntary self sacrifice), and having higher aspirations than simply being focused on meeting life’s “pressing,” now-moment, and mundane issues, “needs”, and fleshly preoccupations. Say what you will about “sensitivity” (and certainly, it does have its necessary and beautiful place in our humanity), it has been the primitive and pagan societies that have inclined and ordered themselves more often under these overwhelmingly matriarchal (and personally limited) directions and “power” structures.
(A recent fad among “scientists” has been to study the bonobo monkey groups [definitely matriarchal] for helpful “clues and insights” into how to improve our own human social functioning! — & to this I would really say: “Spare us, O Lord!”)
The “dumbing down” of our once highly esteemed educational system, the intense focus on the perpetual “feed me” and “gimmee” instinctual motivations, that result in our cultural oversaturation with “fast food, fast sex, etc” industries to provide for our round-the-clock feedings and stimulation, remind one of the intense fostering of the perpetual “infantilism” that is rampant among today’s society. And the direction is still going downhill at an ever increasing rate.
Truly this will lead to ever-devolving social disorders and ultimately chaos and collapse. The matriarchal side of things (when overplayed and “out of order”) simply lacks the vision and the will to defer gratification and to voluntarily “lay down” its instant/momentary “need meeting” impulses. It is unfortunately “all too obvious” that we’ve gone way too far down this hopeless road already.
In fact, when women strongly identify psychologically with, and insist on, wielding their “power” for its own sake (an ill-considered “their way or the highway, Buster!” usurping inclination), they risk becoming associated with the evils and drawbacks of elemental “witchcraft” in (at least) a borderline sense, maybe “without really intending” to do so,… just because they really really “believe in their urgent impulses and feelings” so very very much.
As far as I’m concerned, the “proof is in the pudding”: just look around us,… this is a true picture of the mess we are in right now. The cure? Turn back to God (the Father)’s Will. Become willing to harness the lazy, self-centered, belligerent, raw and ill-considered instant gratification impulses (and anger!) that compel us (and our inner selfish tyrant), and be willing to voluntarily sacrifice/”lay down” the sensual idols and vices that we have ignorantly enthroned, and that now use us as their very own duped puppets.
The result, if truly followed, will certainly bring a “breath of fresh air!” You can trust me (and even I’m a woman!) on this! But it will take the vision, the will, the discipline and consistent follow-through of benevolent (but serious) sincere male leadership to retake(up) their (God-ordained) positions and re-learn and re-establish order and commonsense to our chaotic and out-of-control social workings.
The women, by and large, simply cannot bring themselves to cut off the instinctive (but messy and way overly sentimentalized) supply line to their so-called “nurturing” (Mrs. Right) MO, (as they really really really need to feel needed — AND very important! — (and Right)). But God has also given us all the tools and the vision to “grow up” beyond this level of ultimately self-defeating, self-feeding and self-promotion. He really does have much better ways and plans for us than this very slippery, lowest common denominator, slope we’ve created, and the mucky messed-up soup that we have mired ourselves in. (… … …)
(… … …) (further comment/explanation): Women are deceived if they “think”/believe that there is no higher authority than their own selves, their own minds, and their own personal predilections. Actually, it is fairly easy to deceive women, as the “old serpent” demonstrated “in the Garden,” and the “love ’em and leave ’em” suitors are always a “dime a dozen,” and mass marketing leads them around by the nose, not only in their mutable “fashion sense,” but in many other proclivities as well. And once a women is fully persuaded that, in fact, she IS an authority on something, it is VERY hard to convince her of anything otherwise. (Sometimes, such are the people whom we have to allow to “come to the end of themselves” before they will be able to hear or learn anything else.)
By the way, I am a woman, so I do see and understand this well. Women need to learn to voluntarily “put the brakes” on themselves, on their “automatic functioning,” even though this is the last thing most of them want to hear. But unless we do, we will actually be living in a much smaller rat-race realm, (always trying to “prove something”/”chasing our tails”), than the one that God has designed for us, and us for, and called us to.
Learning to “silence ourselves” (even momentarily) and Listen to higher wisdom is an art and a key to a better life, a life we know somewhere inside that we have been designed for and called to. … Some “modernized” thoughts and options that are promoted, are really quite beneath our dignity. And somewhere inside, we know this,… we really do.
By the way, I’m not letting men “off the hook” either, but I would rather hear honest men addressing their own problems openly, than the usual finger-pointing of one sex against another, that really gets us almost nowhere. (… … …)
(… … …) It seems to me that with all our learning, “scientific” studies, experiments, tests, psychological assessments, knowledge, data, opinions, hearsay, politically correct and incorrect positions, talking heads, sound bites, etc, we’ve amazingly lost touch with some of the most important and basic levels of personal human honesty and responsibility, both male and female. We can get people to talk “around” almost every side of an issue, and yet still miss some of the most fundamental insights that are actually about as “plain as the nose on our face” kinds of things. …
If modern “feminists” have overstepped their bounds in touting and hawking their “liberated” (but false) positions, and in dramatizing these issues in their starkly slanted ways, — (all the while drowning in the “denial” and self-righteous anger of poor poor victims, and accusing anything and everyone else, but their very own selves), — at least as many men have allowed themselves to become complicit as well, by standing back while being culpably passive and “silent”, or being actually downright coercive and threatening, while many are most assuredly “gaming the system” for their own intended freewheeling “lifestyles” (and even using, as well, manipulated “medical conveniences” to mask their actual activities).
It’s a gruesome and distorted picture, viewed from any angle. Learning to really speak clear truth, and being transparently honest, can go a long way to “break the spell” of these too long held and deeply entrenched lies. …
As is often said these days, the “modern” tendency to dissimulate, (and to distort and distract from real Truth, via elaborate “verbiage” that twists and deforms all real meaning and intent), is one of our necessary battlefronts to confront and oppose,… unraveling the lies “so to speak.” The truth is often very simple and plain, whereas lies are sinister, convoluted, masking intent, manipulative, suggestive, and self-aggrandizing. We are getting very good lessons in these things these days, if we have “eyes to see.” …
… Many early and indelible life experiences, (seen through a child’s eyes), have taught me so much of what I have really needed to know, in order to be able to understand what is actually going on with respect to the “liberated”/postulated theories and rationalizations, promoting their unscriptural behaviors. The truth is not at all confused or confusing, but the “modern gibberish”/lingo is. But, it’s not really rocket science,… (as they would like to pretend),… after all,… imho,… … …
… Certainly, “Amen to that!” I feel blessed that some fundamental truths were quite clear to me early on, and they kept me grounded. But it was a struggle to hold on to my point of view in the face of the (so-called) “stylish and enlightened” liberal intellectualism “of the day” (i.e. rebellion), which found many ways and agreeing vessels with which to assail and disrespect me. I, therefore, had to develop my own arguments and rebuttals, and, of course, have found much solace and confirmation in the Scriptures. & Thank you. …
So much for the excerpts, Eugene,… I think my general point is that we need to examine more deeply some of the now “taken for granted” paths and behavior styles that we commonly do and see around us,… disentangling ourselves from being unconsciously complicit with lies and abusive lifestyle patterns, “going along to get along” while risking and doing/voicing nothing, taking the easy way out, etc,… I think there are issues we could become more honest about as people and as a culture, and perhaps do some “better good”,… g
(1) Rembrandts, no matter how amazing they are, do not have wills of their own to have to deal with and complicate “clean-up” issues,… this was implied, but not clearly pointed out,…
(2) It may seem to some that I’m “betraying” femalehood, or being harder on “us” than we deserve, “all things considered,” but this is not my point, motivation, or goal at all,… At one time I was perfectly blind to these things (& ignorance can be a shaky state of bliss and self-satisfaction for a time), and it would have been absolutely impossible to convince me that such a general and identifiable trend existed in us at all,… but given exposure to a few very obvious rough examples, I began to see where I had the capacity to also run my own emotional game on others as well,… & I was convinced of my “rightness” which did overextend itself to situations and people who were most definitely operating in other conceptual frameworks of their own,… so, I did learn to back off, or voluntarily “put brakes on myself”, which I have found to be very beneficial in opening up to understanding a wider perspective, and being able to learn and see more,… & this was a very big and important “key” to me, that I did not learn about “in school”, and that did not come automatically,…
So, I’m basically “speaking for myself” as a woman, which I can do honestly from an experienced perspective,… but I refrain from doing that “about” men, because (as you say) I do not “walk in their shoes”,… It’s all quite proverbial, and complaints are easy enough to see and to make, but I’m hoping that men will begin to assess their own habituated situations more honestly and openly, and VOLUNTARILY begin to submit some of their “taken for granted” patterns to deeper examinations,… I’m quite willing “to bet” (if I were a betting person, which I’m not), that there are actual psychological/spiritual keys to find, which could liberate men from their confusing and compelling behaviors, that have been “running the show” in repetitive, self-defeating circles,… I think it is very obvious that all is not well with “fallen man” (Adam), just as all is not well with “fallen woman” (Eve) ~~ (which is hard for either of them to admit),… but by using our “eyes to see” and being willing to look (and study) deeper into the situation, and refusing to always play by the surface-y “status quo” patterns, and especially in exposing the “secrets” to more “Light”, I think we have the possibility of finding great keys to liberating wisdom and even real miracles, as God leads us and shows us His better ways which He longs to shepherd/lead us into,…
(3) I agree with the idea of different aspects of God being implanted in the wide variety of Creation’s vast panorama, but we have to remember that everything in this world has been, even so, distorted by the Fall, and we don’t really have the inherent perception tools automatically refined in us, to be able to read and interpret the differences between fallen perverted behaviors and the ideals God intended,… We have to be very careful in “believing in” the impressions we take in via the sense realm alone as being “ok”,… Scripture tells us we see as in a glass darkly,… Frankly, in our enthusiasms, we are all too often very naive about what we “like” and follow and devote our time, energy and attention to,… but “to the pure, all things are pure”, so maybe we have hope, even so,… (-:
and Romans 8:28 always applies,…
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