The Cry of an Anguished Lover

The Cry of an Anguished Lover:
A reflection on Genesis chapter 3

“Where are you?”

The great tragedy of the human race… Man turning away from his Divine Lover in pursuit of lesser loves. Bishop Robert Barron once reflected on this Fall, calling the question of God in the Garden the “cry of an anguished lover.” For that is who God is to man: his Creator, yes, but only because of His passionate love for man. Since the beginning of time, God has been a passionate Lover seeking the hearts of men, not a tyrannical dictator angry at His disobedient subjects.

“Where are you?”

The tragedy of man’s Fall is not that we broke a rule, or failed to meet an expectation, or even that we ate a forbidden fruit. The tragedy of our Fall is that we forgot our Lover: the One who crafted us out of the clay with His own hands; the One who breathed His own Divine life into our nostrils, giving us our life; the One who prepared everything for us, and desired only that we would love Him in return.

“Where are you?”

What great sorrow that moment must have brought to the Divine Heart! The moment when His beloved took their gaze off of Him and looked to another, desiring lesser goods that would never satisfy them. To think of all the moments when you and I do this in our lives… The one and only thing that we have that God does not, but that He so desires, is our love for Him.

“Where are you?”

How easily man used to walk in friendship with God. After their Fall, the Lord came “walking in the cool of the day,” seeking the presence of His beloveds. This is the all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present God… He certainly knew what had just transpired in the Garden and where Adam and Eve were hidden. And yet, still He asks…

“Where are you?”

We could hear this question as, “Where are you in relation to me? What has become of your love for me? Where are you?”

The cry of the anguished Lover. Not entirely unlike the anguished cry of the wife whose husband has been unfaithful. Except it’s even more tragic here. Man chooses to sever ties with his Maker, rejecting His love.

“Where are you?”

And instead of seeking reconciliation with their Lord once they had recognized how terribly they’d fallen, they pointed fingers and allowed something new, something foreign to now course through their veins: pride. Oh, wretched pride! The true source of all human sin.

“Where are you?”

Such unfaithful beloveds. If it had been any kind of human love that God had for His people, this would have been the end of it all. Betrayed and heartbroken, God could have given us what we truly deserved: a final death.

But no! So far above human ways are God’s, and so immense His love for His creation that this is not how the story ended. He sent us out of the Garden because of our choice, but with an angel to guard it for our eventual return. He promised a New Eve and a New Adam, one who would defeat Satan and reconcile man to Himself. What He gave in return for our unfaithfulness was not condemnation, but hope. For so great is God’s love for us.

“Because you are precious in my eyes, honored, and I love you.”
-Isaiah 43:4-

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
-Romans 5:8-

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