Monday, August 2, 2010

Deceived to Death

Here's my piece from last week. I absolutely love this one! Can I do that without appearing braggy? It just flowed so easily and I really like the finished product. Our topic was "taste." My favorite line is the last. That came to me in a flash of brilliance as I was driving, a couple of days after I wrote the basic body of this, but had not yet submitted it. We don't know a whole lot about Eve, other than she brought sin into the world. I read a couple of different translations of the story and I copiously studied McArthur's notes in one of my Bibles as I prepared to write this. A number of years ago a SS teacher at our old church presented his view that Adam had eaten of the fruit as a protective measure. That's conjecture, but that stuck with me and so I wove it into my version of the fall of mankind. Enjoy!

Deceived to Death

The ground is hard beneath my mat and I shift uncomfortably. I am thinking that my day will begin early, as, again, sleep eludes these old bones. It wasn’t always like this. I can remember the sleep of the young. Actually, I remember a sleep even sweeter than that.

My thoughts take me back to the beginning. Adam and I spent many glorious hours sleeping in each others arms, our heads resting on the cushion of the plants that surrounded us. We’d awaken only after our bodies were sated with sleep. Plucking fruit from a nearby tree, we’d laugh as the juice ran down our chins and sometimes we’d even wipe our sticky hands on the coats of the lions and sheep that roamed around our feet. We laughed, loved, and spent our days exploring our paradise. We completely reveled in the glorious creation into which our Father had placed us.

As the days would wind down, our Father would come to us and we’d all walk together. I still recall the sweetness of those times. He’d murmur His love to us and we gloried in His presence. We loved him with all our hearts and He loved us. It was perfect fellowship. Of all that we lost, I think I miss those times the most.

Of course, I can never forget that day. I was alone when I saw him. At first, I thought it was just another surprise from our Father. He delighted in giving us gifts and I thought I had just stumbled upon another! This creature was unlike any other I had seen in our garden. I had never seen anything so beautiful. The creature’s skin shone as if covered in millions of jewels. His eyes flashed with the brilliance of diamonds and his voice seemed to be the softer than all the leaves in the garden, cloaking me with its sweetness.

He asked, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” I told him that we were free to eat from every tree, except for the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which we weren’t even to touch, lest we should die. I have wondered many times in the years since why I embellished the truth. Our Father had never told us we weren’t to touch the tree, only that we were not to eat from it. Adding that bit made my answer sound more dramatic, I suppose. But then, the creature told me that our Father was wrong. We wouldn’t die from eating the fruit, he said. In fact, our eyes would be opened and we would be like God.

Oh! Adam and I had, apparently, misunderstood God. In that moment, it made perfect sense to me. Our Father was so loving and so generous with us. Surely, He never intended to deny us this fruit. And so I reached out my hand, and with a smile, the creature placed the fruit into mine. The sweetness flooded my mouth and I knew I had never tasted anything so wonderful before. But before I could swallow, the sweetness turned into a sharp metallic taste. I turned around, and there stood Adam, horror written across his face. Wordlessly, I handed the fruit to him and he ate it as well, grimacing as he bit. To this day, he has never told me why he ate, but I’ll always be convinced that he did it out of love for me, not wanting me to be punished alone.

And punished we were. Gone was our garden and our idyllic paradise. Oh, God didn’t strike us dead as we both thought He might. And honestly, I think we both would have preferred that. The shame of what we had done was nearly unbearable. To this day, my face burns to think of my naiveté and my willingness to doubt our Father when tricked by that creature.
And so, here I am today, a woman of many years and sorrows. Our Father has been gracious to us but I miss what we shared. As I watch my grandchildren and their children, I sometimes wonder who will save them. And I remember what could have been. And then I weep.


Eve finally fell into a restless sleep. Four thousand years later a Man would taste death because she had tasted the forbidden fruit. And by doing so, He would save all her children.

1 comment:

  1. wow i love this....GREAT job, beautifully written.