I once asked my students (all boys), what was Adam’s reaction when he saw Eve for the first time? A student raised his hand and said “Father, the first time Adam saw Eve he shouted ‘Oh my God!’ “And the class burst out laughing. While this may seem like an irreverent humour, the excitement hints at what is natural to every Adam (male). Indeed, when Adam woke up from his nap and saw a creature unlike all the animals but a fellow Adam though not male, he used a clever play on words to affirm the physical compatibility of this creature: “she shall be called woman because she was taken from man”. The Hebrew word for man is ‘ish’ and the woman is ‘ishah’. There is a linguistic similarity in the Anglo-Saxon “wombman” (the man with the womb) now shortened to “woman”. The woman is the only creature said to be built by God. In fact, the Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:22 for the creation of woman is ‘banah’ which literally means ‘built’. Yes, she is built to be a builder, to build home and nurture life, to shape hearts and mend the broken spirit. She is built to give more than she can take, built to forgive, to give compassion and kindness. She’s called mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece and friend. Though created after the man as his acknowledged offshoot, the woman is uniquely created to be a custodian of life and we all know the reason why.
•Rev. Fr. Mautin Simeon is the Administrator, St. Kizito’s College, Iju, Lagos.