If we learned nothing else in the early 1990s, it is that being left alone to our own devices is not a good thing. The success of the Home Alone franchise was built on the two-fold reality that kids have always thought it’d be cool to make their family disappear and the imagination of parents thinking about the worst that could happen if a child were left alone.
Of course, this fear of being alone is nothing new. In fact, the first thing that is ever said to be not good in the Bible is being alone. This Sunday, Track 2 readers will hear the tail end of the second creation story from Genesis. Our opening line from verse 18 reads, “The LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone…” And so, in this version of the creation story, which is very different from the first version that makes up Genesis 1, God sets out making all sorts of creatures to serve as man’s partner. Young’s Literal Translation (1862) translates this Hebrew term which combines the word for “like” and the word for “in front of” or “opposite to” as “counterpart,” which I find fitting for the 21st century reader.
If the goal is to remedy the less than desirable situation that man is alone, it is only fitting then that God would makes a counterpart, that which closely resembles but is not a clone of the original. Traditionally, this has been the basis for marriage between a man and a woman: women are like but not clones of men; however since the Supreme Court decision of July 26, 2015, this seems equally applicable to marriages of two women or two men.
Beyond marriage, however, the reality of what God is doing here in Genesis 2 is establishing relationships as the norm. One need not be married to have deep relationships that fulfill God’s desire that one not be alone. These bonds can be found in one’s family of origin: brothers, sisters, aunts, cousins or in one’s circle of friends. No matter where these relationships are formed, their end is to rectify the very first back thing – it is not good that the (wo)man should be alone.