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It Is Not Good That A Man Should Be Alone

(Gen.2:18)

 



 

Before I started to write on this topic, I thought about how I should begin. Thoughts about the relationship of man with God and the relationships between people are very closely intertwined. It is very difficult to separate one from another. Despite this I'll try to start from the beginning: "In the beginning God created…"

 

"So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him", Gen.1:27.

 

Many theologians tried to explain this mystery and to answer the following two questions: for what did God create man? Won't we find the answer to this question by studying our own hearts and looking at our own lives?

 

Unfortunately, we are used to seeing the usual routine, everyday reality around us, and we try our best to ignore the other reality, which is inside of us. Often, out of fear that the others would laugh at us or wouldn't understand us, we hide even our best intentions and wishes. Meanwhile, if we were to fulfil them, we would bring joy and a ‘fairy tale’ in someone's life. On the other hand, it's much easier for us to justify or ignore the evil that we see in ourselves than to sincerely admit it and begin to fight against it. But let’s leave this topic for now.

 

I would like us to focus on one need of the human soul, that is the deeply hidden desire to have someone who would make the fellowship between the two possible. Often, our pride doesn't allow us to admit that we need someone. So we therefore rather act as people needed by others, while we push our own yearning yet deeper away from someone else's eyes. Do you know this? Good if we still seek this fellowship, if we haven't lost the hope to find that which our soul longs for. Dostoevsky once wrote to his brother, "Do you know, brother, why the soul of man is so distressed? I've been thinking a lot about it. It's because she is lonely, because there's no other soul like her to meet with".

 

Where does such fellowship come from, and why do we trust and are open with one person much more than with another? How does one earn trust and favour? I think, without sincere interest in the life of another person or what the other one feels and experiences, I will never be able to find a soul like mine. Love produces concern, for only by loving one is able to take a genuine part in someone's life. Often this is the key to someone's heart.

 

I remember a well known fairy-tale written by E.T. Goffmann, called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. On Christmas Eve a small girl received a present - a wooden man. He was absolutely ugly and awkward, but the girl still loved him as he was. When they placed nuts into his mouth, he could crack them. This was where he got his name from: Nutcracker. Soon after that evening, the brother of the girl played with the Nutcracker and accidentally broke it. At night when everyone was sleeping, the little guardian couldn’t stop thinking about her Nutcracker. So she got up and quietly went to that room where he was. Holding him in her hands, she asked him not to remember the evil that her brother had done to him, she talked to him and in simple, gentle words showed him her love. Suddenly, she noticed that he became warm in her hands. The Nutcracker began to speak. He told the girl his story of how he had been bewitched and left to stay like that forever, for the only thing that could take away the spell would be if someone would love him deeply and sincerely, but he himself was sure that no one would like to love such an ugly person as he was. The story continues, telling how, in the end, the love of this little girl saved the Nutcracker from the chains of sorcery and transformed him into a handsome young man.

 

The author of this story so clearly portray this simple truth. First, the Nutcracker is a picture of every one of us. Though, surely, a sinful human would look much more disgusting than would this ugly man made of wood. Who is able to love such a creature? I think you know that feeling of disgust and hostility when we come across, for example, a drug addict, an alcoholic or a criminal. Didn’t we also then say, “Rubbish! How can one tolerate such people?!” We shun away from such people being unable to see a bewitched boy in them. We experience similar feelings not necessarily only towards criminals, but often we look down in such a way at a person who is close to us.

 

The Nutcracker was earnest with himself; he clearly saw his ugliness. The same is true for people who are bogged down in a life of vice. You don't need to convince them that they are sinners, they know it themselves. It is much more difficult that the one who hasn't committed "big" sins according to human reason (but who nevertheless carries the chains of pride, laziness and indifference) admit his fallen state. Sin makes a person ugly, it enslaves - no matter what sin it is. To admit that I am a sinner - lost, helpless, unworthy of love, but indefinitely wanting that love - is the first step on the way to Salvation.

 

E.T. Goffmann also pointed out this longing of a human soul for love and fellowship. One is able to come out of the feelings of unworthiness and to break through to that love, which is able to deliver and save from a miserable existence.

 

Deep inside everyone’s heart is yearning for high pure eternal love. Maybe, it’s because people don’t find it in reality, that they picture it in fairy tales. It’s not a female or male love – this one is often showed in novels – no, it’s a different one, the one that is better, bigger, the one that seems to be impossible…

 

Often, looking for that love, they choose ways that are not good. For example, a young girl, lacking a close relationship with her parents at home, all of a sudden meets a young man who shows interest in her. He brings her flowers, gives her compliments and it looks as if he is prepared to give her the treasures of the whole world. Thinking that she has found what she has been looking for, the girl believes the young man, and soon experiences a… disappointment. The same happens to the young man. He doesn’t find an answer to his deep longing to be loved by someone, so he tries to stifle it with pleasures that rob him making him even poorer and emptier.

 

Many people in this world are suffering because of loneliness even when they are right in the center of a cheerful crowd of friends or relatives. Realizing that their life is of no concern to anyone, some start considering a suicide, others turn to drugs and and many other self-destroyed things. This very loneliness makes us profoundly unhappy. We are created in such a way that a joy I cannot share with someone is not a joy anymore, happiness on my own is not happiness, and a secret distress is a double suffering. So we long to find someone who would understand us. We long to open the depths of our soul to someone and have that someone would genuinely need us and look for that ‘knowing’.

 

Meanwhile in life it happens that we see nothing but an ugly person, and we can do nothing but condemn and despise. We don’t think that, maybe, simple words from a sincere heart and love could have helped that person to become someone better.

 

I very seldom heard someone preach on the sin of indifference. Meanwhile it is this sin that separates children from their parents, creates an obstacle in people’s fellowship and shuts down their hearts and makes them insensitive. We are selfish, that is why we think we are the center of the universe. Whereas if we love, it means we will inevitably experience suffering; because the joys and sorrows of another person will concern our heart (which so much likes to keep its riches for itself and to remain in its ‘comfort zone’). On the other hand, carelessness and indifference to oneself and others prevents us from seeing the beauty and value of the soul of the person whom we see often or live together. Through such attitude we lose something precious, meanwhile just a concerned question and a bit of attention could have worked a miracle opening for us the treasure store of a trusting heart.

 

In the beginning we read the words about the creation of man. He became alive when the breath of God entered him. We have been created from dust and only the breath of His mouth has made us a living soul. All the beauty that we can find in others and ourselves is nothing else but His breath. God's grace has lifted us up so greatly that we have become not just a creation as any other living being, but we are a creation in His image and likeness. If one could put it so, I would like to say the following: with His breath we received also this need for love and fellowship. Just because the Lord has created us for Himself, we cannot find a full satisfaction in anything else on this earth.

 

Yes, but someone could still say that he or she needs simply kindness and consideration from another person, so why would that fellowship not be satisfying? Then I would say that a human being is too small to be able to satisfy another soul.

 

If someone is looking for pure sincere love, if someone is anguished not finding his place in this world, peace of the heart and mind, then can I help him when I myself need the same? Who knows where one can find that spring of love and sincerity? Can I make even one step towards another person if that what I see in my heart I want to hide from anyone else including myself? I have to admit that, on my own I don't have those feelings to be able to seek to know another soul, I don't even have the patience to listen to another attentively, to show sympathy and unconditioned love.

 

I think the memories of Eden live in us. Unless we return to that which we've lost, we won't find joy and peace. There, in that garden, man had the closest fellowship with God, saw Him, spoke with Him. But it was all lost because of the sin. If it wouldn't be for the eternal love of our Lord, we would have been destined for eternal unhappiness.

 

The words that God created us in His image and likeness are truly impressive. "So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him", Gen.1:27. Preparing Eve for Adam God said, "I will make him a helper meet for him", Gen. 2:18. There is a mystery hidden in this "meet for him". We are called to have a close relationship with Him, to the intimacy, the shadow and image of which is marriage.

 

Very often in the Bible the close fellowship between man and God is compared to marriage, to the closest and most intimate relationship. For example, it's written, "…I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ", (2Kor.11:2) or "Because we are members of His body"(Eph.5:30). So only in this union a soul created by God will find a full satisfaction to its thirst. There is no one who would love us or be concerned about us more than He is. He is looking for the close relationship with us, for that 'knowing'. I use this word knowing here to underline the depth and the intimacy of this relationship. It is this word that describes marriage as it is written, "And Adam knew his wife, and she became pregnant", (Gen.4:1). Our life will forever remain barren if we do not become one with Him as in marriage.

 

The love for us has led him to the Cross. He has given up everything, became poor and gave Himself as a sacrifice. The measure of His love was no less than the measure of His suffering. He has loved us - evil, unfaithful, bogged down in every sort of uncleanness, bound by sins - and has done his uttermost for our salvation. All this for the sole reason that we may come back into His arms - forgiven, cleansed, delivered and new. We are to be His Bride, His part. O, this transformation is so much greater than that of the Nutcracker! The Love of God is by far bigger, deeper and more wonderful!

 

We can appreciate the relationships with other people, their love and kindness, but it will never substitute a close fellowship with Christ. Unless we get this last thing, we will remain forever hungry, poor and wretched. Only when we take the place that is prepared for us, our life will be able to change. Only there starts a truly pure and sincere fellowship with other people. Having experienced His measureless concern for our life, we start to have genuine interest in the lives of the others. And it's not because we feel we must do it and because it is morally right. No, the reason is that we simply have found that eternal source of love that overflows our heart. Now we can give the hand of true sincere fellowship to another, we can wholeheartedly take part in his or her joys and sorrows.

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