Menu Close

Eden's Mirror

Looking into the mirror of God's story

Edens Mirror

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.

beautiful calm clouds cloudy

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 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, Eden 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.

Eden’s Mirror

Introducing Eden’s Mirror: An ancient looking glass reflecting divine revelation for our past, present and future. Coming soon…

To follow, select an option below.

Magnetic

Upon recently returning from overseas, my heart has been reflecting much on my experience of life as a Third Culture Kid. What follows below (and possibly more reflections to come on this blog) stem from those thoughts and feelings I’ve been processing as late. I share it here because perhaps there is another one of my “tribe” out there who will be encouraged to have someone else speak their language. 

The morning call to prayer wafts through the musty air of breaking dawn.

Everything in me wants to rise from my sleepless bed and stand upon the balcony, letting the heat begin to stick to my skin. I want to take it all in.

I am alive.

Adrenaline from jetlag-sleeplessness pulses through my veins and a deeper life follows suit.

Here, I am alive.

Though I know not the language, the customs, the traditions; though I don’t even possess just yet my belongings, I have arrived home. Where unfamiliarity is my home. Belonging where I don’t belong.

Like a magnet, negative and positive. Same and different. A world of contradictions, and I am home. This world of unfamiliarity is where I belong.

 

Resurrection

There is a fragrance of resurrection everywhere you go. The images in nature can be stark: after a wildfire, green shoots of grass and fern push through the blackened horizon, and wildflowers sprout. The plain white flower of a bell pepper whithers and dies before the produce appears. Darkness falls before the dawn. This cycle is entrenched in creation.

It is also entrenched in our hearts. Review some of your favorite movies and stories. Lord of the Rings, Remember the Titans, Hunger Games. In all these stories, brokenness and fallenness proceeds a rise of redemption.  And our hearts rise with the beat of resurrection again.

For deep down, no matter what our religious status, we all know, we must know, that this world is on the brink of a great redemption. Otherwise, how could we protest school shootings or abortion laws and women’s rights? We must believe deep down that there is reason to hope that things can change. That we are not bound forever to the chains of evil and darkness. We rise up and fight every day in the face of evil. We have not yet given up.

And that is because He has not given up on us. He has risen up before us. He has walked into death and turned it back around into life. The very curse we all deserved from our wayward godless selves, He took on for us, and redeemed on our behalf.

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”, the song writer says. Because He lives, our hope lives on too.

But it is only hope if we have laid down our pride and ceased striving for self-redemption. Because if you follow the rest of the story, the story weaved through out nature and our fictional sagas, and of course, Scripture too, darkness and evil and sin keep returning. Our own powers are not strong enough to undo this madness. We need a Savior, someone to do it for us.

And this is the Gospel story. He is that great Savior. Only He has the power to undo the brokenness in our lives and the lives of all who suffer greatly. Only He has the purity and perfect steadfastness worthy of our trust. Only He has already done it – crushed death once, with the great promise to do it again, once and for all, on the day of His return. And so only in Him alone is our hope found, for those who lay down their arms of self-redemption, who receive His atoning work on their behalf and wait in the Hope He offers, who are willing to wait for the Great Redemption, consummated by His soon return. He IS coming back and Redemption will be completed. He is worth the wait, and then again a hundred times over.

Ressurrection Sunday should be a small reminder of our Great Hope of Redemption Coming, if we but believe and trust in Him.  He is Risen! He is risen indeed!

Grief is A Letting Go

She said, “A mother and child live the first great love story and there is no love story without loss, and this is always gain.” This was her description of relinquishing her 16 year old son to the initial stages of his adulthood journey. Certainly that is not my current reality! But it stopped me in my tracks. “There is no love story without loss.” In the first great love story, God the Father “turned His face away”, as Townend’s hymn describes, as His only Son bore the wrath we all deserved on the cross. God the Father experienced the loss of a child, His only child: He let Him go — even as He knew He would receive Him back, He let Him go. 

I have heard it in all the great stories of parenthood — the theme of letting go. But here at my beginnings, I have not yet experienced its heart-wrenching power. Though it is of course the long-term goal, there simply is no empty nest or college tuition in my current line of vision.

And yet, her words took away my breath. For, in another way, this letting go part of parenting is very much present in my reality.

I am learning to let go of my sweet 2017 babies.

It is a paradox, like viewing a bright star from the periphery of your vision: somehow, I must hold onto and remember with all my might that I carried my babies with me, for their ever-so-short earthly life. And then, I must find a way to let them go.

For although they have gone too soon, they are not gone forever — they are waiting at the finish line, and that is the safest place in the world for them.

There is a sweet and tender mercy in learning to let them go now:

In my letting go, I do not have to worry if they will make it to Jesus with full faith — they are already there, shielded in His perfect grace.

In my letting go, I do not have to painstakingly endure their mistakes and troubles along the way, for they have already crossed over the greatest threshold.

In my letting go, I never have to worry about how my failures have harmed them, for they are securely set within Christ’s own perfections.

And the same speed at which time seems to progress applies either way, for even as I wonder how the years have already passed so quickly by with my two precious living children, I can trust that equally so, I will so very soon, sooner than I can ever imagine, be with my babies once more in heaven. “For with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8).

And so, tonight, as I approach the Remembrance of All Our Lost Babies Ceremony happening at our church this Sunday, I am reminded that in grieving, we are also letting go. And there is a sweet comfort to me in knowing that even though my empty nest has  begun in part prematurely, I am not alone as a mother, in this letting go, and I can follow suit of all loving mothers who have gone before me, in learning to let go of my children, fully and completely entrusting them at last to their Creator.

IMG_2674

Newer Posts
Older Posts