Fertile Journey Through Genesis: Chapter 2:4-23
"when no shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil," (Genesis 2:5)
"The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it." (Genesis 2:15)
From the very beginning God created humanity to work, to till, to cultivate, to create. Our working was part of God's original plan. Our being a part of God's care of the earth was and still is good. Our design to be workers was not a result of sin, but the consequence of being formed with love. God worked and rejoiced in the fruit of those labors and we also would work and literally enjoy the nourishment and beauty that resulted from our labors. Our first work as humans was to be farmers. We played a role in the creation of the earth.
In that original garden most of the food was good for us to eat, but there was one plant of which we were not to partake for it would bring harm to us.
Then God sought a partner for the first human being. And in the seeking of this partner God created animals. Each branch of the mammal tree was given a name by that first human being and was welcomed. The human and the animal related in peace. But the one created in the image of God would not find a partner in that which was not created to reflect God's image.
Thus it was in that first human's sleep... It was in the resting in trust of God, that the first surgical operation was formed that resulted in the creation of another human being - a woman.
The first human ('adam) God created from the dust of the earth ('adamah) with life breathed into it from the nostrils of God. The second human God created from the first. Out of the side or rib of the first human the second human was designed. And in meeting this second human, the first one responds,
"This one at last
Is bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one shall be called Woman ['ishshah],
For from man ['ish] was she taken." (Genesis 2:23)
God created the first human from earth and breath; the second human God created from the bone and flesh of the first.
"Now the man knew [yada] his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, 'I have gained a male child with the help of the LORD.'" (Genesis 4:1)
God created the third human from the blending of the first two.
Each human was created by God, but after the first, God involved the humans as co-creators in the process. God used different mechanisms though to create all three humans: earth and breath; flesh and skin; egg and sperm.
For those of us struggling and waiting through infertility in hope of fertility we stand in awe of a God who can use a variety of resources to create human life. As reproductive medical science advances, this leads to questions of the use of DNA or something other then sperm and egg to co-create life. This announces that no matter the manner by which human life is brought about it is still human life! This doesn't justify our using all means necessary, but it gives legitimacy to the lives that are "conceived." Whether a child is born through a surrogate's womb or has a father who is just a number, the child's life is the result of a loving act of God.
This idea that we are co-creators in reproduction is also fascinating. What does it mean for those of us who are trying to decide on the next steps regarding fertility treatments? Are we playing God or are we playing our role as workers in this world? And can any human life come about without God playing a role in its creation? Isn't it God who creates the soul?
Doctors may blend sperm and egg, but God breathes life and manufactures success.