Suitable Helper

Suitable Helper

“She is rounder than the moon and far more faithful.”

Earlier this week, I heard a poem by Lucille Clifton. I’m still thinking about some of the words.

I think about the moon a lot. Not the actual moon, I guess. Perhaps I think more often about the effects of the gravitational pull of the moon on nature and us. The moon affects our behavior in a predictable pattern. At times, the pattern is comforting. We know what’s coming, and yet, it manages to catch us off-guard, sparking delight, outrage, and everything in between.

But the current intriguing idea from Lucille’s poem is that the moon is not faithful—that it’s not faithful because its purpose is to dramatically influence the cycle of life, which has so much more to do with change and variety than permanence.

Lucille says she is “far more faithful” and I understand this deeply. The idea has caught me off-guard with its truth. If humans are more than animals, then the meaning we add to our existence is supposed to add value to it.

Did you know that some animals mate for life? That’s value-added.

At least for those, the moon does not interfere with their preferences and it gives me hope that we can rise above the pull of the moon.

By serendipity, I came across that quintessential passage in Genesis 2 about how God made a suitable helper for man.

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for man no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

The simple stories of Genesis are great for complex times. Getting back to the basics is refreshing. It inspires me to try again to present myself as the suitable helper for someone special. Together, we are more powerful than the moon. He will know me because we are made of the same stuff and I trust him to know that I was made from him, for him.

Guess what…there is officially water on the moon. Say whaaat?! Everything is possible. We just have to look intently enough.

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