From the dust of the Earth arose a being. Particle by particle, forming into bones and muscles and sinews and skin and hair. The environment was perfect, full of all kinds of fruits and vegetables that would feed this being. There were trees that would provide shade, fresh water streams that would quench it’s thirst. Unspeakable beauty surrounded the being, the workmanship of the Creator.
Before the final act of creation, the Creator paused a moment. This one would not be as simple as the others. It was made in the very image of the Creator, more than any other creature or creation. It would have infinite capacity for love and compassion, and equally infinite compassion for hatred and violence. The Creator desired a being that would join the relational community it was created to reflect, a co-laborer in the beautiful garden it would inhabit. But the Creator also knew the potential for destruction and indescribable pain inherent in such a creation with a will of it’s own.
One day, the creation would betray the Creator. They would choose their own way instead of the one intended by their Creator. They would deny the image of the Creator in themselves and in those around them. They would mar the beautiful garden, misusing the resources provided for their good. They would mistreat the other creatures in their homeland, lording their authority over them and doing violence to them.
So the Creator whispered into the being’s ear, “I will never give up on you. Though you choose your way instead of My own, I will never leave your side. Your joy will be My joy. Your pain will be My pain. I will grieve your disobedience. I will celebrate your love. When other beings deny My image in you, I will speak the truth that you are still Mine. And when you are tempted to do the same in return, I will whisper the reminder that so are they. Your name is From-Earth, because that is what you are made of. But I will breathe My life’s breath into you. You will carry My Spirit within you, and it is with that Spirit that you will respond to Me.”
And the Creator breathed the breath of life into the being made from the dust of the Earth.
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.