Genesis 3:13a Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
We are deeply relational creatures, bonded in our very roots, so that everything I do, however private, impacts others in powerful ways. With every choice I make, I bless or curse not only myself, but everyone I touch, especially those closest to me. And they touch me. We are in this together, even when we are alone, for we carry others around in our hearts and minds, voices that cajole, condemn, uplift, and caution. We cannot escape our inter-connectedness for we are created this way.
Eve was apparently alone as she listened to the serpent and ate the apple. That changed her in dramatic ways that she could not fully understand. If she had tried to keep it a secret from Adam, it would have poisoned their relationship as all secrets do, creating unresolved fear, distance, guilt, and guardedness. Relational death by a thousand cuts. She chose instead to pull Adam into her shame, to be together as they stepped into darkness.
It sounds almost romantic, except that mutual, bad choices inevitably harm both the individuals and the relationship. Sharing a heroin needle is not an act of love, and somewhere deep inside, they both knew it. This kind of bond does not build trust, understanding, courage, or any other element of healthy, growing relationships. While the bond holds, it serves to trap them in the darkness, and the bond is easily broken under pressure, as they both quickly prove.
Into this mess comes God, asking Eve a question, not to shame her, but to rescue her from the shame she already feels, the shame that drove her into hiding. He is calling her to come out of the dark back into the light, back into relationship. It is often easier for both parties to minimize, excuse, or dismiss a wrongdoing, grant a cheap and quick forgiveness since fully facing the wrongdoing is painful and feels threatening to the relationship. But true reconciliation only comes when harm is acknowledged and understood and its impact on the relationship recognized and addressed. God is calling Eve into this process because he longs for restored fellowship. His own pain at the fissure leaks through the words in what seems a tone of anguish and loss: “What have you done?” God longs for connection with us and is always calling us back to reconciliation.