Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ Devotion by Julia Shiver I really have no idea what the writers of Genesis had in mind for this passage. I do know how it has been used throughout time to beat up on women, not to mention apples and snakes. And don’t get me started with how bad men look in this scripture! I was glad to find an interpretation in The Women’s Bible Commentary that spoke to me. In that discussion, the writers are describing the Garden of Eden as an in-between time. It is after the world and all that lives within it are created but before the harshness of the real world sets in. There has been no life and death, no awareness of sexuality and social norms, no awareness of good and evil. Indeed, man and woman do not reach their full humanity until they step outside of that sterile, controlled world into the world with all its difficulties, a world where we get to make a choice. A world where we can truly choose to be all that Gad has asked us to be. Prayer: Creator God, The life you have given us in this world can be hard, even heart-breaking at times. But it comes with the free will to place our brokenness, our pain in your hands. We do not walk this world alone. Thanks be to God. Amen.