The Fig-Leaves Issue

And as they ate it, suddenly they became aware of their nakedness, and were embarrassed. So they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.

Genesis 3:7 (TLB)

As a creative, I get to “over-think” many otherwise simple things. Maybe it is a curse in another’s eyes but in mine, it is clarity. The innate ability to really analyse events that are as heavy as world crises to lightweight issues like the response I wish I said two minutes earlier, has really helped me see what is underplaying our everyday experiences. It doesn’t make me right, I guess it just helps me to build stronger structures around what it is I believe.

As I grow older and experience more interesting versions of reality and life as we know it, I am ever more convinced on the authority and the authenticity of the bible and its teachings. One that really stands out for me it the way we tend to try and fail constantly at providing solutions to seemingly every problem that has ever occurred to the human race. Bogus claim? Yeah, I get it sounds as such but this is a conclusion I have come to through almost every thought excavation I have set my mind on. You can try it too. Ask “why” enough times and you will almost surely find yourself at a helpless human with a problem and solutions that only create more problems. This is so perfectly represented in the verse quoted initially but before we talk about that, let’s bite a little deeper into this.

Psychoanalysts, philosophers and sociologists have come to a dismal conclusion that all philosophy and modes of agreed upon human existence has its flaws. The highest medical research has provided us with solutions that are not 100% and drugs with side-effects. Engineers agree that every solution provided comes with a new problem in its suitcase. So we hold in high esteem the concept of maintenance and constant innovation. I would argue that this is growth in a sense but if you dig deeper you find, this is all a melting pot of ideas by humans trying to save themselves and failing terribly at it. Socialism and communism failed, capitalism exposed our wickedness and democracy is a hot mess. We are killing the planet by “developing” it and humanity grows dumber by consuming more and more information.

Obviously we are running ourselves to the ground and that is not a surprise at least for us Christians. The bible does prophecy it. Basically the day man thought he could decide between right and wrong, he doomed himself to death. So we are all just living a self-fulfilling prophecy but God provided us an out and that is what that verse in Genesis serves as a prequel to.

Adam and Eve had just made the dumbest decision ever (much like we do daily) and the implications of their choice showed up almost immediately. A problem. With the ability to decide for themselves, they did what we all do and tried to solve the problem. The hilarious thing is with all the “knowledge” to be like God according to what the devil promised, these two humans could figure out that there was a problem of nakedness but “they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips.” Now in retrospect, that was really dumb because even though you are not naked, you are not covered either. Only one winter breeze would show that “fig leaves” are not a sustainable clothing option. Funny thing is, Adam knew this because after adorning original “eden brand” fig leaves, he still had to hide behind bushes and here was his reason…

That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.  The Lord God called to Adam, “Why are you hiding?” And Adam replied, “I heard you coming and didn’t want you to see me naked. So I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10 (TLB)

But this story is not all bad news at least at that point in the story. Look at verse 21 with me…

and the Lord God clothed Adam and his wife with garments made from skins of animals.

Genesis 3:21

God stepped in and provided Adam with a better solution. One that solved this problem for literally generations. I like this part of the story because it doesn’t leave man hopeless. Even more glorious is that before this verse, God had addressed the main problem with the promise of a solution. Right there in that garden, Jesus was promised; but that is a story for another day. In this article we realise quite clear as day, that even though man can choose from right and wrong, that knowledge does not guarantee him wisdom and his only hope is to give that baton to God where it rightly belongs in the first place.

What does that look like in the 21st century? Quite simple. Listen, trust and obey. We need to know what God is saying about every problem and every decision. Then we need to trust that he has our best interest at heart and then give in by obeying his instructions. Now if you want to know why we should do this, here is a reason for you; he created it all! Too obvious? Okay what about him choosing to be like us, feel what we feel and die worse than we could die just so we could have an opportunity to get back what we intentionally lost at Eden. He loves us as a whole and individually too. So maybe we might want to listen to him more.

Let’s get practical.

Before you choose to hold on to a grudge because you are genuinely hurt (fig leaves) maybe you might want to try forgiveness and give yourself peace. Instead of making yourself into a sex junkie in a bid to satisfy your cravings (fig leaves) you could let the one who gave you those cravings tell you how he intended for them to be used. PRAY! Pray as much as you can. Especially to know what to do per time and with the little and big stuff the bible doesn’t mention. Most importantly, let God lead your life by accepting the life he laid down for you at the cross. That way you get access to God in man: The Holy Spirit!

I will end with an interesting story that is not so much in the past. The film, Selma, chronicles one of the most pivotal moments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story. One of the scenes shows MLK leading a huge multitude in a peaceful protest and for a moment it seemed as though their enemies would let them carry on but MLK stopped and took a knee. This made everyone in the protest do the same, and after a moment he stood up and went back and the crowd followed. The leaders at the time were so furious with MLK. From the perspective of the film we were able to see what transpired behind closed doors that MLK and his comrades were not privy to. This was meant to be an ambush but a lot of lives were saved because MLK stopped and prayed.

I guess I have expressed this point as much as I can for now. I hope you realise that the fig-leaves solutions you have cannot stand the test of time so you need to let God help you. I hope our leaders learn to pray and truly listen to God and then trust and obey him. In the end, this world will definitely come to ruin but at least most of us can be saved if we do differently, let God heal us and provide us with better solutions.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
(c) 2020

Permission

Take a bite of this apple
I am not forbidden
Let my hours be ours
Let my seconds be second
only to yours
because I put you first
Adam this revelation
Be the Eve to a great Exodus

I apologize, I repent
Let me speak plain
Rather than mountain pressure
over your understanding

Eat me
Drink me
Don’t be afraid to take me for granted
Because I am a request granted
that you would learn to make

I am Spirit in the throat of Numbers;
numbers judges couldn’t chronicle

I am the acts of a trillion apostles
Roam and come forth
Jew’d or heathen
Eat, drink; I am… yours faithfully.

Life

The Niel
© 2020

The Christian Prayer

Lord I am a child of the kingdom,
Lord I am in dire need of wisdom,
Lord teach me how to avoid too much freedom
I recognize that I would naturally like to act as Adam.

Lord, you know the devil is always trying to make me act wrong.
He’s always glad whenever I say: sin you welcome.
Lord Teach me to calm down,
You know me, you know where I came from,
You know I have a natural affinity for sin, please I do not want to hit rock bottom.

Lord, Your word has been awesome,
Every word is so true, I have made it my daily album.
Every lyric so enchanting, it feels like my love portion.
Lord, watch me; watch my every action,
I want to be like Paul, I want to serve you with passion,
I want to heal the sick, I want to deliver people from oppression.

Lord, I Am a child of the kingdom,
Lord there is not a time I do not need your wisdom,
Lord keep far from logic and reason,
Remember I must act differently in every season,
For you know the devil will gladly put me in another sin filled prison.

Lord, now that I am a child of The kingdom,
Lord I know that many trails are yet to come,
Lord please for every test, supply me with Your wisdom,
Lord in your faithfulness preserve me till Your kingdom comes.

Nationalpoet
© 2019

For love only

I thought I knew strength, what I thought
I felt I needn’t do what I ought
I was wrong, so I blamed my strife
Follow me and you’ll have eternal life
These words I didn’t heed
I was that rebellious seed
Though aware of this grace, I was no bolt in this race
Adam where art thou? I hid my face
I had gone against truth, tasted the forbidden fruit

Surely I still had time, I said
But any hope in this very lie was dead
“The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief…
But I kept sinning, ignoring my belief
“The wages of sin is death…
Mine drew closer with every breath

This cliché have I heard, the thousandth time
Repent or eternal death; the clergy rhyme
So at times I wondered, beyond and under
Is Hell a yonder? Or should I even bother?
If this suffering, they speak is somewhat real
maybe the safe side is where I’d rather be
So yes, I did consider

What if I got saved, or take a break from life o’er there
I would still be lost, neither here nor there
“Thou shall love the Lord your God…
I knew mine wasn’t love; Just the fear of hell
Maybe it was the same if no one could tell
So I walked in hands open, heart closed.

“By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved..
I walked in and didn’t come out the same
I didn’t come out at all.
I thought he was blinded by his love
But it made him see what even I couldn’t
Coz even when I despised him, he loved me
He still does, and always will.
Oh! and this time I love him too

Erudite
© 2019

THE C.V.

The sparrow’s songs. The jackal’s laughter.
The lion’s roar. Eve’s allure.
Adam’s strength.
One string through them all.
I am the one in all.
I am.
Me.

I’m the greatest artist of all time
Way before Shakespeare conceived Juliet
I had you in mind, my Jewel, yet
Unlike Juliet and her Romeo
My romantic tales with you end with no woes.

I am Lover. I am Writer.
Warrior drenched in blood and sand.
Ten thousand chariots, one rider. Me.
I created light. I am Light Himself.
Within, outside, and beyond time.
I am.

Stand in awe before me. Beauty Himself.
Most Amazing. Most Intelligent. Most High.
I am the One who was, who is,
Who always will be jealous for you.
I just am.

Notice.
That organ beating beneath your rib cage?
It sings my praise.
Each and every breath you take
Is a testimony to my genius. No tease.
And when a strand of your hair falls, I notice.
Note this.

I am the grandest musician ever
See, I set your heart beating
And those strings that play each time you blink
I made those long before
Beethoven ever played Duh Duh Duh Duh!

Duh!
For you, I am haven.
For your problems, I’m a monster.
I’m your most primal craving.
Though you know it not.

Forget Ali. I’m the greatest.
I call into your depths. And you answer.
I cancel your debts.
I destroyed your death.
I’m the depths

With a staff, I divide seas.
Dry rod flowers. Ax floats on water.
The bulldozer. I am.
When I nod, the mountains melt.
The seas? They flee when I breathe.
I do the impossible.
I am impossible.
I am.

I am.
I touch your tongues, and you spit flames.
I make you hot. Make you look hot.
But if you’d rather look warm
Then out of my mouth will I spew you.
Who’re you kidding?
I took the punishments due you.
I call many. Choose few. You.

I am.
I’m Tsidkeneu. I make you new.
I am Creator. Crazy Romantic.
I am Theos. Yah’owah. The Vyevo-Vyavo.
The Lily – not of the valley, cos I made those too.
I’m the Lily. Period.

I am.
I am the beginning. I am the end.
I am each and everything between zero and infinity.
The infinite. The without-which-not.
I am not just God. I’m also the Just God.
The God of justice. The God that just is.

I am.
Yahweh. Shaddai.
Omniscient. Omni-knowing.
Omni-sabi.
Na only Me sabi as e dey do you.

I. Am. God.

Nonso John
© 2019