You have probably wrestled at some stage with the old question about whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons, but I have a different query about the first man. Did Adam have a scar from the rib thing, or did God just close it up and smooth it all over like a Playdoh figure?
I have long been fascinated by the little we know about how it all began. I suspect that the reason the Bible doesn’t go into a lot of details is so that we would focus on the big principles rather than getting hung up on their smaller present applications. That hasn’t stopped folks from trying to fill in the blanks, of course.
I am drawn back time and again to those in-the-beginning accounts. I am intrigued by the ways the first and second Adam, as Jesus is referred to, book-end the big story of the Bible.
One’s fear drives him to hide from the Father in a garden, while the other’s fear drives him to seek the Father in one. Each place has angels and swords. There’s a tree of life and another (the cross) of death. One Adam leaves the garden in the face of sin, the other leaves a garden to face sin. One covers his nakedness in shame, the other scorns the shame of nakedness (let’s not forget the crucifixion artists’ loin cloth was their version of a PG rating; the victims hung there exposed).
Given his pivotal role in our ongoing human drama, there is so much I would like to ask Adam. Like:
- Was he aware it wasn’t good for him to be alone before God told him?
- What thoughts were going through his head when he just stood by silently as Eve stepped over the keep-off-the-grass sign?
- Did he ever go back and look into the garden and wish for a do-over?
But mostly I want to know about his ribs. When he woke up after the operation and saw Eve for the first time did he go “Ooh!” and “Ouch!” at the same time? Maybe it’s not so surprising that desire is a sweet ache. I imagine that when he took Eve in his arms for the first time, Adam was rather careful, his passion tempered with a necessary tenderness.
God brought something good into Adam’s life, but did it leave a scar?