instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Divine Tailor

What was the first thing God did after His conversation with Adam, Eve, and the serpent, the one where He explained to each the consequences of their disobedience?
For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments, with which he clothed them.
Having realized they were naked, the man and woman had made themselves loincloths out of fig leaves.

Think about that for a minute. They made clothes out of fig leaves! Is there a better indication of just how unprepared we humans are for the consequences of our sins?

The LORD God, though, can see clearly the road we choose to travel. He knows that fig leaf clothes won't cut it outside the Garden. And for Adam and Eve, just before banishing them from Eden, God made them clothes of leather, an act of mercy within an act of punishment, providing them with greater protection than they had thought they needed.

(Or it could be that sewing leaves was the best they could do, that making leather was beyond their skill if not beyond their desire. We might also wonder what the animals whose skins provided the leather thought of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit.)

A tiny detail, generally overlooked, in the opening chapters of Genesis, but it captures the relationship God has preserved with us even after the Fall, and even after each of our own falls.

(The detail was pointed out in a talk by Fr. Joseph Alobaidi, O.P.)