Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Far Country-5

"I froze," Adam looks toward the ground as he recounts the most shameful part of the story. This was where he had failed, where he had not lived up to his promise to rule with blamelessness over God’s creation.

" I had never felt that feeling before, the helplessness that comes with fear. Your mother bit into the fruit, and the deep reddish-purple juice burst out from the corners of her mouth, staining the ground next to where she was standing. I think something within me wanted to save her from disobedience, but we really felt like we were doing the right thing. We were trying to be wise and independent, like God."

"But still, something didn’t feel right," Abel said with a low voice as if he knew all too well of the inner battle against temptation.

"Right, but like I said, I was frozen, and your mother looked so blissful in that moment…I…I just couldn’t resist. I took, and I ate.

"The fruit was sweeter than all the rest, and I gobbled most of it down quickly. In the heat of the moment, in an unbridled wave of desire, I lost my senses. For the first time in life, my focus was on the fruit’s taste and not the God that made it taste so good. When I came out of the trance, the conniving serpent had slid back into the woods, taking our innocence with him.

"Only…we didn’t know it was our innocence that was gone. We just felt strange, a nagging sense within us like something wasn’t quite right. Before we could get a grasp on what was happening, we looked down at ourselves. We suddenly noticed that we were completely naked."

"Naked?" Abel asks.

"Yes, son. We wore no clothes in our homeland. This may sound weird to you, but back then, the thought of covering yourself would have been like masking the glory of the sun with a huge cloud.

"Again, you can’t begin to understand what it was like. It’s like the fruit triggered some part of our brains that had been dormant ever since God breathed his life into me. I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m naked.’ No, the knowledge was much deeper than head knowledge. My floundering heart told me that not only my exterior, but the deepest part of me--an unthinkably bad part that existed only in a world of potentialities until this point--had been exposed.

"So what did you do?"

"Well, your mother and I both panicked. It was like we were completely different people, and we had to meet ourselves and each other all over again. I couldn’t help but notice what seemed like an unhealthy sense of self-importance and self-preservation welling up within me. Until the fruit, I had always looked out for your mother’s and the animals' needs and depended on God’s protection. Now, I just wanted to meet my needs, and I felt like I had to do something to protect myself from my Father’s rod. I guess that’s why I grabbed your mother’s arm and drug her into the bushes, where we instinctively covered ourselves with leaves there.

"Then we heard rustling grass and soft but steady footsteps. I was paralyzed. I knew it was God.

"I looked up at the sun, the time-keeper God had given us, and I realized it was about time for his evening walk through. Instead of running to him, Eve and I crouched down lower, as if we could hide from his gaze.

"He didn’t call us. He never needed to before. Every day we ran to him like the cows to a newly filled feeding trough, but this time we knew better. We weren’t coming out."

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