On Being an Adjective Instead of a Noun (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #30)

ROMANS 5:12, 18-19

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Oh Adam. What were you thinking? Or were you acting on pure instinct. Although, could it even be called instinct at this juncture—you being the first to sin and all? I don’t buy the whole, blame-it-on-the-woman idea either. You two were in it together—the Bonnie and Clyde of Eden, gunning down the rest of us. Why did you feel the need to peek under the curtain? Wasn’t the entire rest of the planet good enough? When I think too long on it, I get irrationally angry. My hands start to twitch like they want to gesticulate wildly about it.

Enter Jesus, stage right, Act 2 Scene 1, New Testament. If Adam did us all in, Jesus bailed us all out. It’s a do-over in the best sense, a re-writing of a script with the ending we would all choose for every sad movie, news reel, and heartbreak. He blots out the damaged spots on our record and then turns to the audience, breaking the fourth wall, and gives us a bow and a backstage pass, because he genuinely likes us, the progeny of the perpetrator of the first crime.

But…I wish it didn’t all hinge on everybody else. I’m not about to cut to the predestination reel here. I don’t want to go there right now, but I just don’t like the feel of the mass of humanity swinging like a pendulum from safe and special to sinner to saved again. I never liked roller coasters for the same reason. I don’t like to feel out of control. Which, of course, is my point and the thing that links me like a domino in a chain all the way back to Adam. I would have peaked under the curtain too. Curiosity and sheer doggedness would have sent me tip-toeing to the tree. I’m not a fool. I’m just another Adam, just another Eve. But of course, there’s only one Jesus, which is why we need an Act 2.

C.S. Lewis wrote, in The Problem of Pain, that

“They [Adam and Eve] wanted, as we say, to ‘call their souls their own.’ But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own. They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, ‘This is our business, not yours.’ But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.”

I just want to be a noun—a little solid space in the universe that I hold unto myself. It’s why I hate it that Adam dragged me down with him and why I equally balk at Jesus dragging me back up. I don’t want to be a modifier for God. But, of course, I am and it’s the only thing that’s going to bring peace to my jittery heart. In truth, I fit best nestled up to God, the Proper Noun. I shine like a new penny when I forget about me. I see it when I parent, when I befriend, when I love those both kin and stranger. All in all, I’m really an ace when I stick to my part of speech. I just need to remember that.

Sunday Thoughts Link Up!

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