ALIVE: Chapter One - The Story Begins

"Come on Adam! Get up and play with me!" She called. "It's such a beautiful day! I'll race you to the fig tree. "

Adam didn't budge. He was trying to nap and so he pretended to not hear her.

Giving up Eve muttered, "Okay, I'm going for a walk. Sweet dreams sleepyhead."

Eve walked through the field of bright yellow buttercups, and other wild flowers whose names she couldn't remember, purple ones that made bouquets all by themselves, and little iridescent white platters of petals. The earth was so beautiful on this spring morning that she was thrilled and grateful to be a part of it. Gaggles of blue winged, and red crested birds flew over head. Their chirping was so loud that she wondered what they could be saying. They sounded so busy and so serious.

While she was gazing up at the birds Eve stumbled over a large rock and fell to her knees. At that moment a long garden snake approached.

"Oh no not you again!" She exclaimed. "Haven't you done enough damage? Go away. I am never speaking to you again."

The snake slithered closer to her and replied, "What are you talking about? I did you a favor. And look, you're not dead are you?"

"I know you tricked me, and besides, I didn't even know what being dead meant, and I still don't.
All I know is that everything seems so different now. You told me that I would become wise. Well I don't feel wise. I don't even know what being wise means either."

The snake chuckled slyly to himself and said, "See! God still loves you."

"And I still love Him," she barked back as if threatening the slimy snake.

"God!" Eve shouted out to the air, "Please come here and make this snake leave me alone!"

No sooner had Eve said that than she felt the familiar warm breeze caress her face and wrap her in an airy blanket infused with the sweet smelling fragrance of lilies of the valley.

Through the feeling of fatherly love Eve watched the snake shrug his shoulder and bury himself into the earth.

"Thank you Lord." She said silently. "But while you are here, may I ask you a question?"

God replied, "Of course my daughter; speak."

"What is death? Is being wise death?" Eve paused to wait for His reply and then added, "I don't feel wise, or dead. I don't even know what they mean. All I know is that since that snake tricked me and I disobeyed You. I feel sad sometimes, and i have to wear these clothes. Are You angry with me Lord?"

"Not angry, Eve; just disappointed that you didn't trust Me, and sad for you."

"But you made that snake, God!" She exclaimed. "Didn't you know what he would do? How did he get to be so sinister?" Before God could answer Eve added, "Why are you sad for me Lord? I'm happy. I love this beautiful world you made for us." And then, to change the subject, she said, "Look what I can do!" Eve flung herself to the ground sideways in a straight flat cart wheel, and then another, and another before she stood up straight with her feet planted firmly on the ground and her long arms opened wide as could be.

She heard God laugh and it made her happy again, so she decided to say goodbye to Him and continue on her hike through the fields. Soon she grew hungry and decided to walk over to her son's garden to get something to eat.

When she arrived she called out to him, "Cain, Cain, where are you?"

In muffled and distant voice, as if he was crying out from the bottom of a well she heard Cain say, ""Here I am mother."

Cheerfully, Eve walked toward the sound, but her cheery countenance plummeted when she arrived to behold her beloved son covered in blood. She looked beyond him and there was Abel, the sweet shepherd she loved lying still, and without breath, his skin had turned color and his wide opened eyes showed a stone face face filled with fear.

Eve was dumbfounded. "Abel, wake up!" She shouted shaking him. "What is wrong with you! Abel, my son, what is wrong?!" She had seen animals and flowers die, but never before had she witnessed a human death. When Eve realized that Abel was dead, she screamed so loudly in fear and horror that the birds of the air, and every living breathing creature fled from her presence. Adam also heard her and ran across the fields to where he found her with Cain. He gazed on the bloody lifeless body of his youngest son, and then up at the scene of Cain and his mother both stunned and silent.

God too arrived at this dastardly scene and was the first to break the sin-laden silence. He said to Cain, "I heard your brother's blood cry out to Me from the ground. Why have you done this?"

In the same hollow tone that drew his mother to him, Cain shifted the blame, "I was angry because you had regard for Abel's offering, but not for mine."

God said, "I told you that if you did well, you too would be accepted, but if you did not do well, I warned you that sin was lurking at the door; its desire is for you, and that you should Master sin and not fall into its grips. Now see what you've done!"

Cain replied, "Bring him back, Lord. You made us, make Him live again for mother's sake."

"I will not do that." replied Father God, "You must learn about the consequences of your action, as your mother and father are learning. Sin kills, and death is permanent. Besides, I created a place called Hades where Abel's soul went. He is there alone, but soon all of mankind will follow, and to that place of the dead, even I cannot go because I am Life, the creator of life and the essence of life. I have no place for death within me and I cannot leave myself. That is final. One day Cain, you will go there too and have to face your brother again. Get ready for that day."

Eve and her husband Adam lay weeping by their son's side. They heard nothing of what God said to Cain. She was stroking his hair and patting the lifeless body of her little shepherd who had died because of the sin of his brother. Adam said, "Now we know death. Now, we are dead too." Talking to himself he added, "When we disobeyed God, we didn't even know what death meant, and in that day we didn't die as God had threatened, but today I see and feel death."

"My son, my son where art thou?" Eve could not be consoled; the shock of a human death overwhelmed her more than if the sun failed to rise above the mountaintop, as if the earth opened up to swallow her. Nothing that she had experienced since her creation prepared either Eve or Adam for this moment.

God spoke. "Cain, now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield to you its strength; you will be a fugitive and a wonderer on the earth." And to Himself God said as He cringed to see the lifeless body of Abel whose gift had pleased Him so, and caused this violent end, 'Someday I will make a shepherd boy king of my people, and he will kill ten thousands of his enemies.'

Cain wept loudly and replied, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be hidden from Your Face; I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on earth, and anyone who meets me may kill me."

With compassion the Lord answered, "Not so! Whoever kills Cain will suffer a seven-fold vengeance."

Then Adam and Eve watched as the Lord put a mark on their beloved son Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him.

Eve moaned at the thought of losing Cain too. Then she winced at the memory of her own disobedience; how easily that serpent convinced her to not trust God. Could this be wisdom; to know the suffering sin causes, and to feel regret? Could the death of Abel, which caused her own heart to wither and die be her delayed death? Eve still could not imagine that someday her own physical death would occur. She only just learned that it was possibly for a human body, made in the image of God to become lifeless, and that sight alone horrified her.

Cain wept in his mother's embrace. Adam pulled her away to release their son from Cain's clutches. "Before you go," said Adam, "Help me dig a hole to plant our Abel deep into the earth. I cannot gaze upon this body any longer."

After burying his brother in the earth, Cain left the presence of the Lord, and his parents to go to the land of Nod, east of Eden.

That was the day that Eve and Adam experienced their first death. On that fearsome day they learned what death was. They thought then that being alive meant to cherish the body and time.