Paradise Interrupted

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The woman was convinced. How lovely and fresh looking it was! And it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit and gave some to her husband, and he ate it too. Genesis 3:6 The Living Bible

This morning as I stare into the greens of the leaves,

         edges white and glowing

         the sourwood limb draping down 

         in black shadow outline

         and the sun pierces through with its hot light;

I am in worship of my God,

My Creator.


The crows ‘caw-caw’

         and another bird sings a sweeter melody…

And this is what God cherishes – 

         this gradual easing into the day,

He and I spending time together.


It is not wasted time. It is worship time.


It is what was intended before we humans needed 

the discipline of lighting the fire, 

burning the candles and the incense, 

and throwing the sacrifice on the altar.


What was intended was Eden; 

         Adam and Eve walking with God 

         in the cool of the day, 

         lost in conversation sharing their latest discoveries.


I wonder what happened in their minds 

that made them want for more?

What tiny speck of doubt started that dark suspicion 

that God was holding something back?

When did their regard for themselves 

grow higher than their love for Him?

How long had the snake been whispering in their ears 

before their hearts rebelled against their Friend and Creator?


That first bite 

         brought the first foreign emotion: 


They looked at each other 

         and were ashamed.


And with shame, everything changed.

They hid. 

They lied. 

They became self-sufficient instead of God-sufficient.

Friendship died. 

Trust was crushed beneath their feet. 

And judgment began.


Can you imagine the loss?


Their sons were born, 

         bearing the weight of their newfound emotions;

         shame, fear, regret, pride…

         all wound up together with a past they could not forget.


The lost paradise of the Garden 

         no longer opened its arms to them…

God no longer walked with them at the end of the day.


I wonder what happened to Eve…

         living out those long, long years 

         knowing too well what she had lost.


Did she find any comfort in the birth of her daughters?

Did she teach her granddaughters how to bake bread 

         as their laughter filled the kitchen?

At what point did the generations of daughters to come 

start loving the hunt of animal skins to cover themselves…     

         and forget how poorly those first fig leaves fit?


The metal buzz of edge-trimmers and leaf blowers and lawn mowers slice into my thoughts, interrupting my wonderings…

         and I, like Eve, 

         cannot return to the peace of early morning 

         in God’s garden.


The wasp drinks from the moisture in the wooden table beside me 

         and flies away.

Paradise interrupted.

Worship paused. And my coffee is cold.


Questions: Have you ever wondered what happened to Eve? Her longing for something more than what she had lost Eden, closing the door behind her with a bang and a flaming sword. How sleepless were her nights? How often did she think about that damning conversation with the snake? How did she forgive herself as she went about her job of birthing the world to come? 

Do you struggle with something you have done in your past that you think God can never forgive you for?

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Living Bible (TLB)The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights res

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