Eve – The Story is Only Beginning to Unfold

Happy New Year to you all! Did you know that last year’s “word of the year” (according to Merriam-Webster) was JUSTICE? It would seem that justice was on the minds of many people last year, myself included. For instance, my heart seeks justice for Eve. I believe Eve has had some pretty big lies told about her. I believe Eve has been under attack by the enemy for long enough. I believe Eve is due some serious justice.

But justice isn’t about revenge, so don’t go thinking that I’m wanting to inflict harm on any potential Eve haters out there. Actually, justice isn’t really about punishment at all. Justice is about setting things straight. Think of justice as having a safe place to go for unbiased help when you are treated unfairly. With justice, the truth of a matter comes into light so that everyone can get a new beginning based on truth. True justice is restorative.

As we begin our journey into the new year of 2019 I’d like to share a beautiful and highly poignant poem about Eve written by my sister in Christ, Ebony Johanna. When I first came across Ebony’s poem my heart melted since she so obviously also yearns that justice would come for Eve. The poem begins with the soft phrase “sister girl.” And as I read the poem, I can’t help thinking that I’m sister girl — you are sister girl. I love the poem because Ebony’s sometimes hard-hitting words flow from a heart that not only feels the unjust attitude that Eve has endured, but also carries alongside that pain a hope-filled warmth that makes you think justice for Eve is most certainly coming and in the end we will all be better because of it.

My favorite stanza is …

The story is only beginning to unfold
The truth, your truth was always here
In plain sight in between the folds of the pages
Though it took a trained eye to see
Because we’ve internalized the lie for so long
We needed help to be brought back to you
Brought back to

Our truth. The truth we bear as women

These words remind me how we’ve taken the lies of the enemy completely to heart — these lies have been spoken repetitively and unceasingly like a mantra we now recite by rote.  From the pulpit the lies are honored like holy doctrine, scattered about like seeds. We have learned to cradle these lies in our hearts; we coddle them. And now we have grown old and sickly from their cancerous presence. The lies that we hold so dearly regarding who Eve is have become part of who we are. And a church infiltrated by lies is an unhealthy entity. A hurting entity. But thankfully these aren’t bold-faced lies since we don’t actually know they’re lies.  So if you like, we can just call them “false beliefs.” They are fallacious beliefs that we have accepted without question and perpetuated with zeal — all to the harm of Eve and her daughters.

Before you read the poem below, I’d like you to think about a few of these lies.

  1. Adam is Eve’s leader because God gave him the law. (The purpose of a law is to test the heart; therefore, Adam’s heart is about to be tested.)
  2. Eve was created to be Adam’s “assistant.” (Eve is actually the revelation of the “God of Help.”)
  3. Eve’s “persuasive, seductive words” led Adam astray in the garden. (Eve did not actually speak to Adam — she spoke only to the Serpent.)
  4. Adam ate the forbidden fruit because of his love for Eve. (Adam chose not to intercede for Eve. Therefore, love was not his motivating factor.)
  5. Eve’s sin was that she “wanted to be like God.” (Eve was already like God; therefore, her sin was becoming deceived into thinking that she was NOT like God.)
  6. Eve’s sin brought death to the human race. (NOT true — Adam’s sin brought death.)
  7. Eve’s purpose is to bear children. (Eve’s purpose is bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.)
  8. Adam is the leader of Eve because he is the “head.” (The term “head” does not mean “leadership;” it means “source of life.”)
  9. God prefers men to lead and hold authority (God is actually impartial; but the Sin of Noah helps us understand our partial hearts.)

So now it’s time to read the poem written for Eve. It tells of her journey through false blame and faulty teaching. It tells of her pain and our failures. We’ve failed Eve by warmly embracing lies. We’ve failed Eve by refusing to ask questions even when we knew something was amiss. We’ve failed Eve by loving her less. We’ve failed Eve by rejecting her voice. Which reminds me, I once asked my husband how long it would take before I heard a sermon on the judge Deborah… it took eight years of pew sitting before I finally heard a woman preach — she preached on Deborah. Thank you, sister, wherever you are.

And now it’s time to unravel the mess of Eve. It’s time we listened to her womanly voice once again…

Setting Eve Free

Sister girl, how they’ve had your name locked up for yearsEvePic
Said it was you who ate the apple
Was led astray by your lusts
Bringing down the integrity of the world
With your seductive touches
And questioning, wandering eyes

They said it was you who’ve been entrapping men
Bending and folding them in the grip of your thighs
Tantalizing them with the fullness of your breasts
Leading them to hell with the way the sun radiates off your coily black hair
Whether its locked
Picked out
Or flowing down your back

So they told you to shut up
Put up
Dial it back
Stay in your place
Be seen and not heard
And accept your plight as ordained by God for your sin

And we believed them
We let them drag your name through dung itself,
We distanced ourselves from you
Disassociated ourselves from the most intimate pieces of ourselves so that we would not also succumb to the Jezebel,
Sapphire,
Delilah
Stereotype

But we’ve gotten older and a bit wiser
We’ve had children of our own, the stretch marks in places we didn’t even think were possible,
The graying of our hair while we still try to maintain our youthful vigor of days long ago, the way our thighs jiggle now, no matter how thin we are. We’ve learned some things living in our bodies, being in touch with our full selves

We found out they lied
Told the biggest story of all
And us all, believing it was you
You who destroyed the world
Broke up homes
Impregnated yourself
Knocked yourself unconscious
Pushed yourself down the flight of stairs
Played the whore
Brought your misfortune upon yourself because of the way you dressed, the way your hips moved to much, the color of your lips, because of where you were, because of who you were with

Now we know
The story is only beginning to unfold
The truth, your truth was always here
In plain sight in between the folds of the pages
Though it took a trained eye to see
Because we’ve internalized the lie for so long
We needed help to be brought back to you
Brought back to

Our truth. The truth we bear as women
Young and old
Rich and poor
Black and white and LatinX
And Queer and
All of us

To see our stories, our identities so intricately wrapped together
Though patriarchy has damaged us
Forced us to choose between false binaries
None of us are going free til all of us get free
None of us are going free til

Eve
Sister girl
Mother, daughter, friend
From whom all living things come forth
Who birthed the world
Though the world despised and rejected her

Til Eve rise up out of the pages
Reclaims her narrative
Tells the story that is just beginning to unfold
To be silent no more
To no longer be either a passive or active participant in our destruction

The whole world is at stake
The whole creation groans with groaning that cannot even be uttered for our liberation

Eve,
Sister girl
We stand with you
We got you
We believe in you
Just as much as we believe in ourselves
In our stories
Held in our bodies just anxious to come out

via Setting Eve Free

Thank you Ebony, for that amazing poem. I stand with Eve and I believe the whole world really is at stake waiting for the restoration of Eve.

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