The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 6, 2009

Adam's Speedo and Eve's Bikini

It's harvest season for figs, which means my family's small organic orchard is in full production. By small, I mean there's only one fig tree in our backyard — and by organic, well, that's more a result of sheer laziness than a conscious choice.

Each year around the Fourth of July, hundreds of purple-brown figs ripen on the branches. In the evenings after the air has cooled, we go out to the yard and eat figs for dessert.

Jill and Ben at fig tree

I listened as Ben, 8, told his little sister, Jillian, 5, about the tree.

"These are the leaves that Adam and Eve wore," Ben said.

Jillian looked at him and raised her eyebrows.

One day in Eden, Adam and Eve figured out that they didn't have clothes and they didn't want God to see them naked, Ben explained. "So they made bathing suits," he said.

Ben plucked a leaf and stuffed it inside the waistband of his shorts to make a Speedo. It inspired Jillian to fashion a matching bikini.

"How did they make it stick?" Jillian asked, putting two leaves to her shirt and watching them fall to the ground. "Did they have tape?"

"Probably," Ben said.

I chuckled at my son's answer, but I didn't interrupt their conversation. I think it's sometimes more productive for kids to wrestle with Bible stories such as these on their own terms. With any luck, it will lead to new questions and a deeper sense of wonder.

My kids hadn't asked for my opinion. If they had, there is only one thing I would have told them that I knew for a fact.

Adam and Eve didn't have tape.

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