routine of this action brings him a calmness- but still, he knows all that will happen before its setting. I’ve given them free will, the choice to love me. This truth runs its way through his mind as he watches the man and woman awake and stretch, go about their day.
The afternoon comes, and around one-thirty it’s clear that something is badly wrong. The air is tight and shifted, sharp and uneven like a broken bone. The dance, something that’s become so usual and expected, is suppressed by a dark heaviness: an insulated silence like the early morning after a snowstorm. The man and woman are nowhere to be seen.
The Creator sighs, the weight and reality of this moment lodging itself deep in his being. He feels it fully and weeps. The unity is gone. The separation between him and humankind is thick. He knows exactly why; he watched their actions. They sinned, disobeyed his one command in their desire to promote themselves. They had thought he was hiding something from them and sought it out on their own. Foolishly taken what wasn’t theirs.
The Creator rises and strides through the garden. “Adam, Eve?” He seeks them out, though he knows exactly where they are. Hiding. Trying to conceal their shame: covering themselves in leaves, cowering below the trees.
There they are. Oh, what a sorry sight. They’re trembling, willing themselves to become smaller. To disappear. It’s a new feeling, this shame. This fear. They peer up at the Creator. They’ve never seen him in this way. They suddenly, jarringly understand their smallness and sinfulness in comparison to his perfection, his glory. And it’s all their fault. It’s terrifying. They’re certain they will die. It’s the only thing that could follow this horrid breach in the order of things. The silence around them is deafening. Their hearts pound.
The Creator speaks—but this time, it’s not a manuscript of creation. It’s a choked-up, sorrowful describing of the disorder and pain that’s come to the earth to stay. Things will never again be as they were.
The Creator dresses them in the skin of animals: the first death to cover the shame of sin. This hurts him deeply. The future slices through his mind: mankind’s sin will only multiply. Their evil will intensify, turn against him with disgusting willfulness and self-sufficiency. They will abuse his kindness and mercy, mock him.
Much death will be the result. Millions of animal sacrifices, so much blood. It will all lead up to the death of his own righteous son. A heart-wrenching sacrifice. In that moment the Creator feels it fully, knows all the evil and death that is to come—and allows Adam and Eve to live.
The man and woman listen with tears of bewilderment and relief. They’ve broken something, yes. Their sin has infected everything; creation will never be the same. They’ll be banished from this glorious garden of eternal life to struggle for their days outside of it. But they’re going to be allowed to live on, to fill the earth with mankind? What a merciful Creator.
When I’ve read this story in the past, I’ve viewed it as Adam and Eve getting what they deserve. They sinned, so God kicked them out of the garden of Eden, made childbirth painful, and the land hard to farm. What I didn’t see is that this was a great mercy towards them. They deserved immediate death. He easily could have gotten rid of them and the pain. But he did the exact opposite. He sought them out, sacrificed an animal to cover their shame and sin, and let them live. He brought the unity back to life. He let humankind go on and told them to fill the earth—even when he knew all that would come from that decision.
Let this story open your eyes to God’s great mercy and kindness. Our sin is never too deep for him to heal. Even when it seems we’ve completely shattered the beauty of his created order, even when the “before” and “afters” of what we’ve done bring us to bitter tears, there is hope. He’s sacrificed greatly to restore us to himself. I honestly don’t understand why he loves us in this illogical and extreme way, but I rejoice that he does! He seeks us out. He forgives. He draws us to himself. And because of his great mercy, the dance of creation goes on.
Hello! I'm Anna, a college student living in the Midwest. I'm a strong believer in uncontrollable laughter, powerful words, and a morning cup of coffee. I pray these posts will encourage you to live a full life with and for God: unhindered. Look forward to new posts every Monday morning!