17. My Problem with Sin

 Eve hugged me and said, “Of course that was God speaking to you. He loves you and He wants you to know.”

I replied, “Doesn’t God love everyone? Or don’t you think I was only thinking something that I want to be true?”

Our relationship changed. When I first me Eve, before Easter, she was a young lady yearning to go home. She needed my help. She seemed lost and afraid, and needy. But after being brought back into Eden by Christ, into the presence of God her Father, Eve exuded an aura of confidence, full of love and grace. She was my mother; at least I wanted her to be. Certainly eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had given Eve wisdom. I didn’t know how long Eve would spend with me so I wanted to make the most of every minute to question her. But as any good mother she wanted me to learn on my own.

“You don’t have to go through me. God will teach you all you want to know. You are His child, go to Him for your lessons. If you do well, will He not accept you and if you don’t do well, sin is lurking at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

“There see!” I exclaimed, “I don’t understand that! That’s what God told your son Cain before he killed his brother.”

Eve looked at me and then over to Adam with a nod. Adam reached for my hand and peered into my eyes as Eve had so many times before and said, “What don’t you understand?”

“I don’t understand what sin is. Is it missing the mark of God-likeness or is it an alien predator, something outside of me lurking at my door to hurt me?  What is this enemy waiting to pounce on me when I don’t do well? I suppose Cain let it in when he killed his brother. Even then, God said He would protect Cain from being killed by others even after he left the presence of the Lord.” Adam and Eve patiently listened as I continued.

“In church on Good Friday I stood next to a man who I hadn’t seen there in years. I knew him to be quick-tempered with a foul mouth. I was surprised to see him in church. As I stood there a powerful feeling came over me that God was happy to see the man beside me, that he was loved and received more than I was. He was the prodigal son. Words can’t describe the power of that feeling. It shocked me, but I basked in its warm envelope of love, even though it was for my neighbor and not for me. It was for that maniac!”

Eve said, “See, God spoke to you with that feeling!”

Then Adam added, “God told Cain that sin is a three step process, 1) don’t do well, 2) recognize sin, and 3) master it…or not.  Cain’s jealous thoughts were not yet sin. He could have mastered that, but he didn’t. God didn’t love Cain less after he sinned, and he didn’t love your neighbor less. Someday the judgment will come, but until then God is patient and tolerant. Love covers a multitude of sins. Becoming like Christ by obeying His commands is the only sure-fire way to avoid sin. Do you understand?”

“No,” I responded meekly hoping Adam didn’t hear me.