I currently reside in a white-washed concrete three bedroom apartment, crowded into a narrow inlet of land surrounded by sidewalks and a noisy thoroughfare. That roadway is packed into a puzzle of streets which stretch their concrete vines around every possible structure in its path. The city is like a weed, a ground-cover of pale hard cement, suffocating the life beneath the ground.
Now, not everyone feels this way about the city, to be sure. There is a grand display of life and glory here too – but that is another story. Today, my stale home, surrounded by a gray platter of discolored houses and apartments, strangles the life out of me, and I pant for want of life-giving beauty for my eyes to behold. I long for the garden of Eden.
I tasted of it today in my garden. We’ve been growing peppers and tomatoes and kale for months now, and have only recently reaped a rich harvest. We sat in the hammock, with a yellow and red pepper in hand, and consumed it almost in an instant. This is how food was made to be eaten, I think, as I watch my children beg for more from my hand. There is no arguing about eating one more bite, no “eat your vegetables if you want to have dessert”. It doesn’t matter how hungry or filled you are – when that sweet, sun-kissed pepper hits your lips, you want more.
Wasn’t this what it was like in Eden? Where you picked your food from trees and plants grown by the hand of the Lord through your tilling of the soil and watered by His loving care and goodness?
I swallow my last bite, this sweet foretaste of Home, and take my children’s hand to walk back across the hardened concrete drive, through the cold stale gate, and into the crowded space of our darkened living room, and think to myself, Yes, I was made for a better Eden.
And so are you…
But perhaps you have forgotten that, as I so easily do. I go about my day, consumed with chores, children, commitments, and the days can feel as colorless as my concrete walls. Yes, the paradise that was ours is lost to us now.
We don’t know what our lives would have been had Adam and Eve not taken that first bite of forbidden fruit. In so many ways, all we know is what we have lost: a life without grief, sorrow, disappointment, suffering; life in perfect communion with the very One who spoke the universe into existence. What our eternity then would have been we will never know.
We only know what we can see of Eden’s reflections, like a mirror, beckoning us to recall what we lost, if only to move toward the One whose communion with us has become so dimmed and marred by our own tainted hearts.
Eden’s Mirror is our looking glass – our place of remembrance, our place of sorrow and joy, of stumbling and repentance. She tells the tale so often woven throughout all of God’s breathed-word in Scripture: creation, fall, redemption, hope. She points us ever forward to the promise made so long ago of the One who would come and rescue us and take us at long last home…with Him.
I invite you to come on a journey with me of learning to see Eden’s Mirror, to better hear His voice, to return home to Him in the present circumstances of your lives and in the life of the age to come.