3 The Decision

As it was in the beginning, so it shall be world without end. Amen.

“Please tell my story” Eve begged yanking my heart’s strings.

“I don’t know that I can,” I replied. “There’s not much to go on, a few sentences and then you ate the poisonous fruit and bam!”

“No, there’s so much more. We actually lived in the Eden for many years. After we were banished it was if we gradually fell asleep year after year we forgot a little more of who we had been, forgot what it was like to walk and talk with God until eventually Adam and I fell into a deep earthy sleep. Suddenly I heard Jesus walking. The sound of His footsteps woke us up! We watched as Jesus did what we used to do in the Garden. Yes! We could walk on water too; it was so much fun. Adam and I had races and dove in to cool off. We played Simon Says with the wind and waves. Jesus reminded us of the days when the world was new and fresh. When Jesus appeared I saw in my mind’s eye the way back to Eden. It was glorious! He was there and here at the same time. He showed me that I could go there, and now I must. But I won’t go alone, the way may be dangerous.”

Eve quickly turned her head and peered into the distance, “Look! They are getting ready to leave the world, bring them with us. Please!”

“Who will believe me that a person can go to Eden during Lent. They will think that’s absurd. They want to blame you for all misery,” I looked into her eyes to see if she flinched when I said that but she didn’t so I continued, “They say that after you disobeyed God the whole world was transformed into a dark and evil place, a far country from which no one on earth can escape. I’ll never be able to convince anyone else that it is possible to go to Eden. They’ll think I’m a heretic.”

 “Oh that doesn’t matter.” She responded, much to my surprise. “The chosen will hear and rejoice because they too have been told that the Garden of Eden still exists on earth. God didn’t say He would annihilate Eden or that He would leave it, He only banished me and Adam. Jesus shows us the way there.  Please be brave, take me home, please?”!

Being relentless Eve added, “What’s the alternative, another walk through the desert? Have you forgotten so soon what the desert taught you? I offer you paradise!”

“Eve,” I replied quietly, “ I think that I am too frightened to go to Eden.  What if we get banished all over again? Nowadays when I fail to resist temptation, or when I disobey God, it doesn’t seem to really matter. But in Eden…well, it’s death!”

“That’s just it. You don’t realize that it matters because everyone here eats freely from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Truly put on Christ, as you think you have and you will be able to exist in Eden! That’s what Jesus showed me when He came. This will be the test for us and our Lenten travelers. Don’t you want to know for sure whether you can make it, before it’s too late? Or would you rather be deluded and comfortable in your own fantasy until Judgment Day!” As Eve said this I wondered if she was hitting me back to see if I too could take the truth.

 “Why wouldn’t you want to go? God is there, He never left.” Eve was wide eyed and more hopeful than ever that I would open the gate to the path back to her birthplace and that I could fill it with Christians who are bold enough and pure enough to inhabit Eden, (as if I could with this blog.) Yet, how could I deny her this wish? She was right; what desert could offer a more challenging or rewarding journey?

Reading my mind, I saw Eve’s face aglow with joy.

“Okay” I conceded meekly, “How do we begin?”

8 Inside Out

“Oh Eve, look at the calendar, Lent is almost over, do you think we’ll make it?”

“I hope so! I’m so excited I can hardly breathe!”

Indeed Eve’s cheeks were rosy and her blue eyes sparkled as I had never seen them sparkle before. Her joy infused my own heart. As someone who had never been to Eden, never even conceived of being able to visit the sacred Garden I too was elated over the imminent homecoming. It would have been impossible, flying pig impossible, to travel this wake-up Lenten journey alone.

“Eve, do you feel yourself waking up?” I asked.

“Like a spring breeze Lent has blown through every room of me looking for life,” she replied enigmatically “and found only buds of it.”   

While I was trying to make the connection between waking up, life, and rooms Eve added: “Let’s see for ourselves, shall we?”

I did not say a word, hoping that Eve would start to make sense.

She nearly reminded me of the fairy godmothers in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. “First let’s check the dining room where we have been eating as in Eden. Our entourage has been so good, never minding a bit that they left the world. Have you hungered much?”

Deciding to play along, I responded, “Not enough. Next week I hope to hunger more. For its limitations Eden was also abundant.”

She went on, “Oh how we have relished the time spent in our library with the immortals! When we see them again we’ll have so much to talk about! Look at this tower, so many books, so little time.” 

Starting to get it I was ready to contribute, “Is the family room ready; look at the children, puppies and friends all talking and sharing cares and experiences?  I think the family room of us is fully alive, right?”

Eve was quick to say it needed work and continued. “As for the bathroom, have we adequately cared for the outside of our fleshy-temples to clean and beautify them?”

“Of course!” I whacked and volleyed with, “and the exercise room too! The inside of the cup:  heart, lungs, and muscles are all ready for Eden.” I began to understand what Eve was doing. The house appropriates the life it is designed for and unites with its inhabitants. A house in right standing with God is a person fully alive. Each room represents an aspect of the holistic life.

Correcting me Eve said, “Wrong! The inside of the cup is the soul which is the umbilical cord to God. That has no room of its own because it is the life force of every room. Now let’s check on the most complex room.” Eve went on. “A good way to know if we can awaken in Eden is to inspect the office, our connection with the world.”

Heading for the office I started to cringe and tighten up. Reading my mind Eve said, “Jesus had more demands on Him than you. Don’t fret He became frustrated too, but let’s work on this room, okay?”

“Eve, can we go to the bedroom now? I am feeling very sleepy and I have a lot of housekeeping to do tomorrow.”

“Of course dearie. Sweet dreams, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

I wish she hadn’t said that!

9 Hosanna Warm-up

"" Shhh come here and watch this. I scurried over to where Eve was crouching behind a rock watching a man untie a colt from the tree. I crouched behind Eve. It looked as if the colt was being stolen because a couple of other men approached and there was some discussion apparently about the animal.

Maybe not, because they took the colt after all.

“You must see this.” she said.

Was I asleep or awake? If I was awake, where was I?

Reading my mind Eve told me that I was both asleep and awake. We were still waiting to wake up in Eden, but before that our entourage (that includes you, the reader) was being given a chance to see Jesus so He could show us how He made Eve realize that it was possible to return to Eden.

Gen 2:4“In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up-for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the earth-then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there He put the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

2:15Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘you may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’

“Look, here He comes.” Exclaimed Eve pointing to Jesus walking before our very eyes!

Sure enough, there was the real live Jesus Christ, riding bareback on a colt.

 Stunned, and with my eyes riveted on the Christ, I managed to ask, “Eve have we gone back in time? Does this mean that when we wake up in Eden we will have gone back to the beginning of the world? I didn’t think that was the deal? I like the 21st century quite a lot. I like my country and some of the other ones, and cell phones and computers and bathrooms and refrigeration and aircon…”

“Calm down!” she interjected before I jumped over the edge. “Listen to me. Relax, time is relative. It is an element that God works with much like we work with clay. We can still be in the 21st century when we visit Eden, but the way there is without Time as you thought you knew it. You will understand this later. The only way we can be in Eden is the way Jesus Christ was in Eden when I saw Him. Today we will watch how Jesus could be in Eden in His own time period. This will help us to be in Eden in the 21st century—with cell phones! Okay?!”

Eve continued, “Today is the day that Jesus goes to Jerusalem as a king and victor. Well, not exactly because He refused the accoutrements of an earthly king, but today He receives the praise of the people.

I want you to see Jesus walk right up to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and not even take a bite!

It’s not just the knowledge of evil that we should eschew, who wouldn’t want that? In fact everyone wants paradise because there is no evil there. But the knowledge of Good is equally poisonous, and Christ knows this better than anyone.   

Today Jesus is practicing not eating the knowledge of Good, to help Him not eat the knowledge of evil when the time comes. This is an important day. Learning how to avoid eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will be essential for us when we wake up in Eden. If we can see the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then the tree of life cannot be far.

Now let’s  be quiet and watch the people treat Jesus like a rock star!”