Eve and I woke-up simultaneously in utter darkness. I mean we really woke up! I know that all this time Eve said our Lenten journey was to be an awakening rather than a trek through space or even time, but I didn’t quite understand what she meant until today. When a person wakes up from the sleep state (s)he is suddenly in a place that is quite different from wherever the dream took him or her. In the last few days we had seen glimpses of Eden, but today we have finally arrived to stay.
Eden is a beautiful peaceful place because it is where man and God live together on this earth. Of course God doesn’t live full time in Eden, He never did. ‘He art in heaven.’ But when He comes to visit He sees His children, alive and loving, just as He always intended them to be. The pride of this Divine Father is no less than the pride any father feels for his sons and daughters when they look and behave like the best of him, and when they accomplish great things for this world.
Awakening to Eden has been the most astounding experience of my life. I hope to stay here all my earthly days. When my body yields to nature I hope to go to live without my body in the resting place where God’s children wait for the new body and the new earth pictured in the Revelation to Saint John. For now, I want to thank Eve for giving me the idea of going back to Eden and we both want to thank Jesus Christ for paving the way back.
Eve and I had fallen asleep on soft ground by the mouth of the tomb of Joseph of Arimethea where lain the lifeless body of Jesus. A cool breeze wafted over our faces sending a chill down my spine. It was the day after the Sabbath rest but it seemed to me like the very first day of creation. The world felt fresh as if recently plucked from its roots in bondage.
“Eve look, the stone is still there.” Our eyes were fixed on the closed tomb as if it was the horizon waiting for the brilliant tip of the sun to appear.
All of a sudden a shimmering white light surrounded the boulder revealing what must have been a glorious surge of light inside the tomb, like the light I imagine appeared on the first day when God call light into existence, like the Tabor-light of transfiguration, like the blinding light on Moses’ face after visiting God. In serendipitous unison, Eve and I and the rest of our party slowly whispered, “Praise God” incapable of saying anything else so utterly flabbergasted were we.
By the light of the moon and stars we could see a wind push the boulder away from the mouth of the cave. We witnessed the figure of the man-of-light walking out of the radiant tomb surrounded by a host of archangels. It was the same body we had seen hanging on the cross, but transfigured again. He was holding a stick and His head was held high like a General proud and victorious after battle, refreshed from a mission well accomplished and with no casualties. But not a man: a god, imagine Zeus, imagine Apollo. The archangels surrounding Him were militant as well; perhaps it was Michael on His left side, perhaps Rafael on His right. Outside the tomb the entourage was greeted with a host of cherubim cheering and laughing. Such sober merriment eyes had never received.
Jesus Christ spotted Eve and walked right up to us. He looked her straight in the eye and she looked up at Him with great courage and loving admiration. Jesus said to Eve, “Follow Me. I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” Unable to sustain the power of His presence, Eve buckled and fell at His feet. I think I felt myself and the rest of us disappear, I’m not sure. The party of Christ with His servants and friends then turned and walked away fading from our sight, leaving a lone angel to wait in the cave.
Like the Shunemite woman’s son, like Jairus’ daughter, like Lazarus, Jesus returned from death. Unlike Lazarus and the others, Christ brought a gift, the tree of life, to share with the children of God. Like the dove that carried the olive twig back to Noah, Jesus carried a branch from the tree of life to His brothers and sisters.
Christ returned from exile, the same exile to death that Eve instituted upon mankind. He endured His Holy expedition through the twirling flames of betrayal, persecution, and crucifixion for one purpose: to show Eve, me and you the way back to life: to immortality where mankind consciously lives with God, in His Will, and according to His likeness.
Welcome to Eden, my reader-friend. Let’s proclaim the good news that death is no longer mandatory. Let’s follow Christ’s footsteps through the flaming swords or tuck ourselves safely inside Him to reach the tree of life that was planted in the middle of Eden at creation.
With tears streaming from our eyes Eve and I hugged each other tight while singing, voicing, proclaiming and saying, “We made it! We made it!”
Then Eve said, “I must go back for Adam. Oh I can’t wait to tell him where we’ve been! Please be here when I get back okay?”
I smiled and said, “I hope to be; go in peace sister. I’ll wait here for the ladies to show up. I can’t wait to see the expressions on their faces.”
Eve winked and left skipping down the path.
The New Day.