Let me take you to a place that once existed, but is now only found in the imagination. Picture yourself flying over a dense forest. The sky above is covered with dense pink clouds. The sun is simply a bright spot in the sky. There are many flying creatures all around, none of them seem to be aware of you. As you look at them you realize many of the creatures are not familiar to you, the world is an alien one.
You notice a small mountain peaking out of the dense jungle below and you are drawn to it. As you approach it, you see a small cave near the bottom. Gently you descend towards the cave. The noise of the jungle gets louder as you get closer to the cave. In but a moment you find yourself standing in the mouth of the cave. The inside of the cave is quite large.
As your eyes adjust to the darkness of the cave you notice a woman walking from one side to the other. She is dressed in animal skins. Her hair is long, but a tangled mess. As she walks across the cave you are amazed at her beauty. In fact she looks a lot like Raquel Welch in that cave girl movie. She picks up a few pieces of wood and places them on a fire at the center of the cave. Then, plops down in front of it. You can see her face, now illuminated by the dancing flames. She stares without blinking into the fire. Her beautiful face is broken by a mournful frown. Her eyes seem hollow and lifeless.
This woman’s name is Eve. She is but a shadow of the person she once was. She has known a happiness and joy that no other woman has ever known. She has also known sadness and disappointment such as no other woman has ever known.
Oddly you see Eve’s thoughts and feel what she feels as she remembers the day she came to be. She woke up. She found herself laying on soft ground in a place so beautiful the word paradise was born. As she rose to her feet she noticed a man. At once she recognized him. He was the Maker and He had created all things. She leapt into his arms and gave him a big hug. The man that was God returned the hug and chuckled.
“Come with me,” he said. And so, holding his hand, she followed the Maker. They walked along a well-groomed path and soon entered a small clearing.
“Adam!” shouted the Maker.
Soon there was rustling in the bushes in front of them.
“You’re early!” came a return shout. Then Adam bound out from the bushes. On seeing Eve he froze. His eyes fixed on her and did not move.
Eve was stunned as well. The man was perfect. He looked something like that Fabio fellow. Every thing about him appealed to her. The way he bound out of the bushes impressed her and the way he was gawking at her now was flattering.
The Maker was pleased with the responses he was witnessing.
“Go to him,” said the Master gently, for you are his and he is yours.
Now the paradise, which was called Eden, had every thing Eve desired. There was every kind of fruit and vegetable a person could imagine and some a person couldn’t. The water was pure and refreshing. Companionship was abundant as well. Man and animal did not fear each other. Eve grew to love her husband deeply and soon they were never found apart.
In all the things Adam did, Eve was a part of them. Adam considered Eve the most precious thing the Maker had ever given him. It was Adam’s honor and pleasure to serve his wife. The love of Adam brought absolute bliss to every aspect of Eve’s life, her mind, her body and her soul. Eve and Adam had a deep love for one another, but they shared an even deeper love. They were one heart and one spirit when it came to the Maker.
Every day, when the great light began to dim, the Maker would come and walk with Eve and Adam. The three would talk about many things. Often the Maker’s children would query him on why he had made this thing or that thing the way he had.
Imagine the fun a person would have playing any sort of game or sports with the Maker. Would he always win? No, I don’t think so. Winning is not the Maker’s goal, love and fellowship are.
One day the Maker took Eve and Adam to a place in the garden they had never been before. They followed the Maker down a wide path. The two were amazed that they had never taken this particular path before. The path ended in a small clearing. There were two trees at the clearing’s center.
The Maker stopped and looked at the ground silently for a few moments.
“Maker?” asked Adam. “What is this place?”
The Maker turned and looked at Eve and Adam.
“The place is not important,” he said soberly. “The things in this place are.”
The Maker turned and looked at the two trees. One was very impressive with fruit that made Eve and Adam’s mouth water. The other tree looked like an average tree and was unimpressive.
“The first tree is the tree called ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’ and the second tree is called ‘Eternal Life’. All of the trees and all of the fruit in Eden I have given to you. You must not eat the fruit of the tree called ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’ don’t even touch it. If you do, you will die.”
After showing them the trees the Maker continued the afternoon walk with his children.
As the memory fades Eve’s longing for those walks returns. It is a longing that has returned to her often throughout her life. Oh how she wished she could she the Maker’s loving face. She would give anything to jump into his arms again. Sadly, Eve had nothing, nothing she could offer the Maker to make her acceptable to him again.
Eve blinks away a sudden rush of tears. Perhaps they were caused by the heat of the fire on her eyes stuck in a hollow stare or maybe by the unbearable heaviness in her heart.
An animal’s roar off in the distance softly echoes off the wall of the cave. They remind Eve of another day in paradise.
One day Eve and the man she loved were chasing a creature Adam had named Dog through the place called Paradise. Dog was the closest thing to a companion that Adam had before Eve had been made. As they ran they suddenly came upon the two special trees the Maker had shown them. Eve stopped and considered the two trees, especially the one with the beautiful fruit. Adam kept chasing Dog. He called out to Eve and she turned to follow after him. A voice called Eve from behind the tree called ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’.
Eve turned and saw a creature step out from behind the tree. It was a serpent. This creature had always intrigued Eve. While she could talk with any animal, most were not very interesting. They were not very smart. The serpent however was very crafty. It was the best at giving riddles and playing hiding games. He almost always guessed Eve’s riddles which made thinking up new ones a game in itself.
The serpent was an odd looking creature. It was very lanky. It’s body, legs, arms, tail, neck and head where all the same thickness. If you looked at the serpent from the side it looked a lot like a question mark. From the front it looked like a stick figure with two eyes where the head should be. Watching the serpent one would guess it had no bones, for every part of the creature was completely flexible.
The serpent said to Eve, “Are you hungry Eve?”
“Yes”, she replied. “After we are done chasing Dog we will eat.”
“Why not eat now?” asked the serpent wrapping one of its arms around the tree ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’. “Just a quick piece of fruit. Have you considered the fruit of this tree?”
“It is beautiful fruit and looks very delicious.” She said.
“Well then . . . “, he said as picked a piece of fruit. “Satisfy your hunger.”
“I am forbidden to eat the fruit of this tree.”
Adam returned and sat on the ground near Eve and the serpent, and listened to the conversation. He was watching to see what Eve would do.
“Did the Maker really say ‘Do not eat of this tree’?” asked the serpent surprised.
Eve still looking at the fruit said, “He said not to even touch it. If I do I will die.”
“Ha!” exclaimed the serpent. “You will not die. Not only is this the best fruit in Eden, it is special. Eat it and you will gain knowledge. You will be like the Maker himself!”
Eve looked at Adam. He was looking at the ground, doodling with a stick. His face had no expression. Eve knew he was waiting to see if she would do it. So Eve looked at the fruit one more time, then looked at the serpent that she had talked with many times in the past. If she ate this fruit she would be like the Maker. The Maker cannot die, she reasoned, if she was like the Maker she could not die either. Perhaps the Maker had not considered this.
Eve snatched the fruit and took a huge bite. It was the most beautiful thing Eve would ever taste in her life.
“Well . . . your not dead.” said the serpent calmly.
Eve rejoiced, it was true, she was not dead. The Maker had been wrong. Eve took the fruit to Adam.
“Adam! I am not dead.” she said excitedly. “Now I will be wise like the Maker. Adam I have never tasted such sweetness. Try it.”
Adam stood up and took the fruit. Slowly he took a bite, looking at Eve as he did. His mouth exploded with the flavor of this glorious fruit and suddenly he had a new understanding. Eve’s eyes widened, as she became aware of her own new understanding.
Then Eve looked strangely at Adam, then down at herself. Suddenly she ran off into the bushes. At first Adam was puzzled. Then, upon examining himself, realized he was exposed. He too, ran off into the bushes.
Eve found herself on her knees squeezing her head between her hands. The thoughts now running through her head were unspeakable, they were . . . selfish. Eve was now aware of every kind of sin. She was also aware of the pain sin could bring. She remembered how selfish lust just popped into her head when she saw her naked husband.
Suddenly Eve was very still. It occurred to her that Adam might have had the same thoughts as she did. Adam now had the potential to hurt her. She would not allow that.
A gentle breeze caused a fig leaf to tap her on the shoulder. She looked at it and then a thought occurred to her. A short time later Eve emerged from the bushes clothed in leaves. A little later Adam emerged also clothed in fig leaves.
For the first time Eve and Adam looked at each other with distrust.
Another cool breeze brought the voice of the Maker calling their names. Eve looked to the greater light and realized it was time for their walk with the Maker. She was terrified. Again Eve and Adam found themselves rushing into the bushes, tearing their garments hurrying to hide.
“Where are you Adam?” called the Maker.
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
There was a long silence, then the Maker asked, “Who told you, you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree the I told you not to eat from?”
Suddenly the Maker appeared in front of the bushes in front of Eve and Adam. They stepped out in front of the Maker and his heavy gaze fell on Adam.
Adam looked at the ground for a moment in silence. Then his head came up and he looked at Eve. She returned his gaze. She had never seen his face look the way it did now.
Looking straight into her eyes Adam said, “It was the woman’s fault. This woman that you put here with me, she gave me some of the fruit and I ate it.”
His words pierced Eve’s heart. The protection she had fashioned for her self had failed. Eve was hurt and she found she could not breathe because the pain was so great.
Then the Maker’s eyes focused on Eve’s and her heart broke in two. The pain in the Maker’s eyes was overwhelming. Eve thought she might fall over and die right where she was. In the Maker’s eye she saw the shadows of all the pain the world would encounter. She saw the tears of millions of children. Truly Eve wanted to die, but then there was the fear.
“Eve, what is this that you have done?” Asked the Maker. Eve could tell the Maker was overwhelmed with grief. His posture was oddly stiff and his breaths were short and controlled.
Eve found her mind racing to escape the anger she could now see building in the Maker’s eyes.
Then she had a sudden flash of an idea. “The serpent!” she exclaimed. “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”
Suddenly the serpent appeared before them, materializing out of thin air. He seemed puzzled at first, then he saw the Maker. The serpent smiled and shrugged. He offered no explanation.
The Maker lowered his gaze at the serpent. “Cursed are you serpent for what you have done! You will be the lowest creature, lower than the livestock and wild creatures. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life! I will put enmity between you and the woman. It will carry to woman’s offspring and yours. He will crush your head and you will strike his heal.”
The serpent cried out in pain, and suddenly his arm and legs fell off.
So serpent writhed on the ground next to his lifeless limbs coughing in the dust his action were generating.
Then the Maker turned and looked Eve straight in the eyes. The anger that burned in his eyes caused the pain in her heart to burn furiously.
The Maker said, “I am going to cause the pain of childbirth to greatly increase. With pain you will give birth to children. You will long for your husband and he will rule over you.”
That last statement stuck in Eve’s mind and she tried to understand it. As she did she could here the Maker’s voice, seeming very distant, addressing Adam.
“Because you listened to your wife and disobeyed me I will curse the ground. Through painful work will you eat of it. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.”
The sky thickened and darkness came over Eden. The wind blew harshly and for the first time Eve and Adam felt the coldness that inadequate protection allows.
Lightening flashed and a terrified animal screamed, then was suddenly silenced. Eve and Adam found themselves clothed in the skins of an animal.
The Maker was looking at the ‘Tree of Life’. His eyes distant, and his mouth an emotionless line.
Eve was so broken. She wanted things to go back to the way they were. She wanted the Maker to fix this mess. She wanted the Maker to . . . forgive her.
Eve tried to cry out to the Maker, but a sudden gust of wind took her breath.
Then the Maker looked up at the two. The last time in Eve’s life she saw the Maker, the one she loved in such a special way, she saw tears in his eyes.
A great wind blew and knocked Eve and Adam to their knees. As they fell they saw the Maker become the wind itself.
The wind blew against them continuously bringing with it stinging debris. They ran away from the wind. As they fled they tripped and stumbled, skinning their knees and bruising themselves all over.
Then the wind stopped. Eve and Adam turned and looked behind them. The last creatures of the garden they ever saw were it’s newly appointed guardians. One was an angel and the other a flashing sword of fire. Eve and Adam knew they could never return to the place called Paradise.
The next couple of days were absolutely horrible. The world outside of Eden was dreadful to Eve. Sometimes it was cold and other times it was unbearably hot. The couple had to search for water. In the garden they always knew where the closest water was. It was actually several days before they found any. The pain of thirst was the first of many pains to come.
Hunger was next. The world outside of the garden was not abundant with fruit and so hunger found the couple before they found food.
Then there was the storm. It came upon them suddenly. It was a violent event and the Maker was not in the wind as he was when he drove them out of Eden. Even that much contact with the Maker would have brought some comfort.
Eve could see fear in Adam’s eyes and she knew her own terror. Great winds and lightening with explosive thunder clashed around them. They ran to the edge of a great forest whose trees blotted out the angry sky. For a moment Eve felt safe. She looked at Adam who was straining to see in the dark and shadowed underside of the great forest.
When the storm came he had grabbed her by the hand and almost dragged her into the forest as he bolted for cover. She looked at her feet as she began to feel pain in them. They were cut and bruised by her stumbling to keep up with Adam.
She sat on the floor of the forest and wrapped her arms around her legs. She began to cry.
Adam turned to her quickly and angrily hissed at her to be quiet.
Suddenly her tears stopped and through her matted hair her eyes burned great anger at him. The emotion was lost on Adam however. He had already turned back to his investigation of the great forest.
Eve turned her gaze to the ground and her anger turned to sadness. Adam’s first word to her since they were driven out was an angry hiss. She felt alone.
After a few moments Adam came and sat down beside her. Without looking at her he said, “We cannot talk to the animals.” He was very pale and very jumpy. Eve could tell Adam did not feel safe.
The news that they could not talk to the animals anymore made Eve feel even more alone.
“I must find a safe place for us . . . to protect us from the storms. Stay here.” said Adam, then he left.
Eve stayed where she was for quite a while. As she sat there her mind began to wander and she started to worry about Adam. What if he found a safe place and decided to stay and leave her in the forest? What if something bad happened to him and he never came back to her? What would she do then?
This was the first time any of these kinds of thoughts had ever occurred to Eve. In paradise she never worried about such things. She knew the Maker would take care of everything and she had never considered the possibility of harm. Eve began to fret. She got up and started walking in the direction Adam had gone. As she walked the noise of the great forest grew so loud and strange that it scared Eve. She started to run. Eden was never like this.
Suddenly the ground under Eve’s feet became mush, almost a liquid, and Eve stumbled forward and fell face first into a pit of mushy stuff.
Eve did not understand where she was. The ground was so soft that when she tried to get up it moved around her. She could feel herself sinking. Horror crept into her as she realized her danger. Eve struggled towards firm ground, but the more she struggled, the faster she sank. In a panic she began to scream. It seemed that even screaming made her sink faster.
Soon Eve heard the thumping of a man running through the forest. Then Adam was there. He was standing at the edge of the muck now. The powerful man looked down at her and she had fleeting thoughts of when they first met. She looked into his eyes as she held out her hand. His eyes were not like the first time she had seen them, they were hard and angry.
After several harsh yanks that almost pulled her apart, Eve was free from the strange muck.
“Why didn’t you stay where I told you to?” demanded Adam.
“I though you were gone. I thought you might not come back.,” she said as she started to cry. Little clumps of muck were still dripping from her hair.
“You thought I would leave you here forever?”
Adam stood and shook his head. He looked into the distance, but said nothing for a few moments. Then he glanced at the ground for a moment then at Eve.
“We should not be here, but we are. I blame you for this. You cannot survive without me. To be alone is worse than death. Follow me and perhaps the Maker will have mercy. Perhaps we will find a better place.”
Then he was silent again and returned to looking off in the distance.
Eve did not know what to do with these words that Adam had given to her. Then the words set her heart on fire with anger as they were spoken over and over again in her head. She stood up and looked Adam straight in the eye.
“Where is your true strength man? Proud of your strength and your speed are you? Where was your strength when I needed it?” Between clenched teeth she demanded, “What is a man that stands and lets his woman fall? What is a husband who does not use his strength to pull his wife from the clutches of death?”
Adam pointed at the pit of muck but this only infuriated Eve more. “What good is it to save a dead woman from the pit if you cannot return life to her?”
In disgust and anger she pushed Adam as hard as she could. He stumbled backwards over a stump and fell on his back. He quickly got up and then pushed her down. She cried out and fell to her knees facing the pit of muck.
“Do not mock my strength Eve, I am sure you will have need of it soon.”
Eve got to her feet and walked away. As soon as she was sure Adam could not see her anymore she climbed a very large tree and rested in one of its grand branches. Then she cried. Eve spent that night alone, another first. She slept little and was frightened by the many noises. She longed for Adam. Though her heart was wounded by him and didn’t feel him necessary to survive, she found that she still loved him. Some how love had survived the events of the last few days. She decided to follow Adam and love the man she knew would never be the same.
Adam was asleep at the bottom of the tree the next morning. By the time Eve got down from the tree Adam was standing waiting for her. He did not say anything and for a few moments did not do anything. Eve watched him stare at her. Then he held out his hand and waited.
Eve looked at the hand, then back at Adam. She put her hand in his. Silently they walked out of the forest together.
Again her memories fade from your mind and you find yourself next to Eve in the cave. Her memories are now your memories. She puts more would on the fire. You notice she can’t keep warm.
Eve begins to pray and as she looks into the flames Eve’s memories continue their story.
You can feel Eve’s love for the Maker.
Her love for him was a great pain for even though she longed for him day and night she knew she could never undo what she had done.
She had nothing to give to fix her Maker’s heart. Her life, broken was not worth a fraction of the cost it would take to make things right.
Still eve did what she thought was right. She did it because of her lost love.
Eve learned that the Maker still heard her and sometimes he even answered her prayers. He was so distant though and never answered her directly. This for a long time was her only joy. Then the Maker blessed her and she had sons. Happiness began to return to Eve’s life.
Looking from the flames to Eve you notice a faint smile, but then it changes to a dark frown. You look into the flames and witness one son kill another and a mother’s heart dashed to pieces. Then the living son banished and a broken heart scattered.
While Eve had many other sons and daughters, she never recovered from the sorrow caused by the first two. Her sadness continued to grow when Adam died. Surrounded by children and grandchildren she chose to live alone and sad in Adam’s cave.
Eve lets out a large sorrowful sigh and draws your attention from the flames. Suddenly you feel very cold. Even the flames diminish into coals. Then you notice, Eve isn’t breathing anymore. Eve is dead.
Gently you begin to drift upward. Out of the cave and up towards the sky. You are immediately aware that you are not returning from where you came. Instead of a gentle trip over the forest, you travel straight up. It’s a bit unnerving to see such a great distance between you and the ground. Then the damp cool embrace of a cloud chills you and you can see the ground no more. Then suddenly you are standing. It seems you are inside a cloud. Then again, maybe you are some where else. You cannot see your feet, as they are lost in a swirling mist. There is absolutely no sound. Everything is very bright and very white. Above you is the same type of swirley mist that hides your feet. There does not seem to be an end to this place.
You are surprised to find that you are not alone. Eve stands beside you, seeming very much alive. She is as curious as you are but she is still not aware of you.
Suddenly a giant sheet of light appears before the two of you. Then images appear on it and it looks like a giant movie screen.
As you watch, you realize you are seeing every hurt, every sin man has committed against another.
In horror Eve drops to her knees and begins to wail loudly. She is truly tormented by what she sees. Even though the horrors before the two of you are scorching your minds you cannot look away.
The screen changes and shows a woman and her life. She grows up, and then strangely is with child. Since you have seen her life you know she is pure and not married.
When the child is born angels sing and dance in front of shepherds, and strangers honor the child. As the child grows he becomes wise and astounds educated men.
Eve has stopped her crying now and strains to see the young man’s face. On the great screen his face is always away from the two of you. Completely captured by the man she stands and walks to the screen. As she approaches the screen, its story continues. The young man teaches, heals and forgives. He also makes enemies and the man surrenders to them. As Eve reaches for the screen they beat the man, and as she touches the screen, he is crucified. When they lift him up his face is finally revealed. It is the Maker.
His pain ridden face explodes in Eve’s mind. She spins away from the screen and walks away. Her gaze to the ground, she shakes her head no repeatedly all the time saying, “No, no”.
A clear and loud voice issues from the screen and calls Eve’s name. She turns and watches the screen once more.
As the Maker dies, the screen fades to white, when the images reappear the Maker is standing in a desolate place and the evil serpent is there.
“Do you recognize this place?” hisses the serpent.
“Yes.” answers the Maker solemnly.
“Of course you do. You made this place. This is Eden,” mocks the serpent. “How do you like what I’ve done with the place? Tell me Maker do you recognize this dead tree?”
“Yes.” says the Maker.
“Sorry there isn’t more of it for you to mourn. I had your cross, the thing I killed you with made from it.” The serpent broke into a victorious laugh with that comment.
“Tell me serpent, have you forgotten my name?” said the Maker leveling an angry gaze at the serpent.
“What?” asked the serpent suddenly stopping his laughter.
“The tree of life had fruit, but is that the only way one gains the benefit of a tree?”
The serpent narrowed his eyes at his opponent and said nothing, for he had no answer.
“Let me show you.” said the Maker smiling for the first time. Bending down and picking up a large branch from the tree of life the Maker said, “You forgotten who I am serpent, I am the MAKER!!”
He lifted the branch high and a single bolt of lightening struck it. When he brought down his hands they held a book.
The Maker smiled at the serpent even more and said,” When I write a person’s name in this book made from the tree of life, that person lives forever with me. You see serpent? The tree of life, has become the book of life.”
“No!“, screeched the unsettled serpent. “What about the Law?”
“One perfect man broke the world. One perfect man paid the price. The Law is fulfilled. Now, if you will forgive me, I have some writing to do.”
With that said, the Maker vanished and the great screen fades to white with the screams of a defeated serpent fading off into silence.
When the screen returns to life you see the Maker in a new garden. He approaches a woman. He looks into her eyes just the way he used to look into Eve’s eyes. Upon recognizing him she runs to tell others rejoicing all the way.
Again the screen fades to white. Suddenly the Maker is here and he holds out his hand to Eve. As you look at Eve you notice that she had been restored to the Eve of Eden.
From out of the mist step Adam, then Able and then Cain. Eve finds herself crying again, only this time, in joy. She has been redeemed, her mistakes undone, and her family saved. Eve now knows perfect love, perfect happiness and perfect freedom.
Suddenly they are all gone and you? You are where you are right now!
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