I was chatting online with a friend of Dan's a few weeks ago and he shared with me an epiphany he'd had about Genesis and the Fall and mortality and all that. It's pretty obvious actually, but it was something I hadn't really thought of before and I've been mulling it over ever since.
Though it seems harsh- exiling man from the garden- his true home where he walked with God- AND at the same time, introducing death/mortality, both are actually examples of God's mercy to us. Living in a broken, fallen world- like ours for example- would you want to live eternally here- like this? Really give it some thought- what would that look like? I would not.
Now, I still don't claim to understand any of this- why it had to be like this at all...but after that conversation, I did find myself very thankful that I don't have to live in this current world with all of its struggles eternally.
Another friend of Dan's had sent Audrey a children's Bible for her upcoming birthday. I have no idea how they came up with this particular translation- but Audrey seems to like the book and I find the translation kind of moving. After sin comes into the world, it says this:
"God's children would always be running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again. God couldn't let his children live forever, not in such pain, not without him. There was only one way to protect them. 'You will have to leave this garden now," God told his children, his eyes filling with tears. 'This is no longer your true home, it's not the place for you anymore.'
And then on the next page...
"And though they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God's children would miss him always and long for him- lost children yearning for their home.
Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve:
'It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I'm going to do battle against the snake. I'll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I'm coming back for you!'
And he would. One day, God himself would come."
I hope this is all true- even if I cannot comprehend it. It feels like I've been searching for Eden for a long time- in many place and in many things. I know now more than before- it is not to be found here on Earth. "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most profitable explanation is that I was made for another world," says C.S. Lewis.
There is the desire for it...the desire for things to be made right- especially now when what has happened feels so very wrong. Any illusion that I've been under that I could construct it here with my own hands and by my own will vanished on July 6th. I breathe a sigh of relief- that quest has ended.