This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created humans, God made them in the likeness of God. God created them male and female and blessed them and named them “Humans” when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
The interesting thing about this little story is what it leaves out. Whether it be of the heart, mind, body or relationships the deepest wounds are the wounds we neglect. They fester over time and eventually bear the fruit of spiritual and even physical death. We see the archetypal pattern for this truth in the story of Cain and Abel which can be found in the 4th chapter of Genesis. By the beginning of chapter 5, the very next chapter, the traumatic events of a family murder have already been omitted from the community’s story. Why? Why are we as humans so eager to igonore our wounds?
When we neglect the wounds in our midst we often pay for it in ways that are even more painful than the original wound itself
Neither the son who was murdered nor the brother who took his life are remembered as a part of the family line. Instead of tending to the wound of this traumatic event the family alienates, isolates, and suppresses the memory. Instead of finding reconciliation the trauma leads to cycles of retributive violence and generations of animosity. This wound trickles down through the generations until the whole world is filled with the violence of Cain’s descendants. Finally, God tells Noah that the earth itself has been corrupted by humanity’s violence. Worse, the consequences of neglecting this family wound literally flood the world with death, killing every living inhabitant both human and creature alike. When we neglect the wounds in our midst we often pay for it in ways that are even more painful than the original wound itself.
This week I invite you into a contemplative posture of honest self reflection. As you read through the meditation below take a moment to consider the neglected wounds of your own life and the healing/reconciliation which love requires of you and those around you.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Survey the breadth of my body;
and draw attention to its ailments
See me, God, and observe my relationships;
reveal the ones I have broken and those which have broken me
See if there is any offensive way in me;
tend to my wounds, embrace my weaknesses
Show me the ways I have neglected myself, and the world you love
and lead me in the way everlasting
May you have the courage to do what love requires; and may you find healing for your wounds.