This morning I am sitting with judgment.
It’s rather quiet right now, but it was active most of the night and robbed me of sleep.
It goes something like this: I hurt someone I love with words that came out of my mouth. Honestly I didn’t intend to, but the way they were received in our conversation, injured them.
And you know what? This someone told me. They stood face to face and shared with me how I had hurt them. What I thought was an engaging conversation, they experienced as painful. In that face-to-face moment, I felt the tugging to explain myself, so they would:
- understand me…
- see my heart…
- see my point of view…
- hear the words again…
Or, instead of scrambling to explain myself, I could instead just listen, hear them, and hold the their heart.
Who are we guarding anyway?
God is very clear in placing humankind into the garden—we have a purpose for being there. Maybe God’s words in Genesis 2:15 are painting a picture of how we are meant to live and what we can create.
“Yhwh, God took the human and set him in the garden of Eden to work it and to watch it.”
A few meanings might be helpful from the original language of Hebrew:
- work = work, worship, serve
- watch = to guard
- garden = delight
- human = humankind (gender-full)
Foundationally speaking, how we perceive this verse in the heat-rising judgment moments will determine what we create.
If my understanding of this verse is rooted in the Garden belonging to me, myself and I, then what I am to guard and work turns my focus solely upon myself.
- What is best for me?
- What serves my purpose and creates what I want?
But, if my understanding of this verse is rooted in the Garden belonging to us all, then, together we are meant to guard one another and yes, this will mean engaging in the work of often hard conversations in order to build community.
- What is best in this moment?
- What are we seeking to create together?
Using the original Hebrew words this verse sounds like this to me:
“Yhwh, God, took the humankind and set them in the garden of delight to work, worship, serve it, and to guard it.”
Community can be uncomfortable
Judgment came and slept with me last night. And this morning I had to look up the meaning of the word. It means, “the ability to make considered decision or come to sensible conclusions.”
Yep, I think this definition is giving some direction to what it means to be engaged in creating a community who guards and works the garden in order to create together something that’s bigger than just about guarding me, myself and I.
My sleep-deprived night with judgment invited me into being in the risky place of forgiving and being forgiven. I was misunderstood. I also hurt another. Together we meet face-to-face and something is created in, around, and for both of us. In asking for forgiveness there’s an invitation to myself and another to enter into a new place—a place that involves the ability for us both to consider decisions that will help us see one another more vulnerably.
Dear judgment, I thank you for you for interrupting my sleep last night and inviting me to “revisit my words.” I don’t get to change what happened, instead I get to change only how I will choose to be in God’s garden.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if community were easy? It isn’t, but you know what? It’s good, very good.