There was no time for this! “Just pick one, Eve, and sew it together!” The man had his voice raised, and his jaw set. She’d never seen him this way before.
The fig leaf was just too small, again. “I am! Stop yelling at me!” the woman snapped back. Just this morning they were together under the shade of the magnolia, him lazily caressing the very same parts of her he was now hurriedly trying to cover. What was wrong with him? Her heart was pounding, but she tried to stand as tall as she could. She needed to feel stronger on the outside than she felt inside. Right now he was impossible, acting as if she had ruined everything! Wait, does he blame me? He was right there…Adam was right there with me.
The Father will be coming. He always came. Then he would know what we’ve done. The afternoon was waning, but already it wasn’t the same. The birds were silent, trading in their chirping and whistling for utter quiet. Adam had never felt this way before. He was out of sorts, and he realized that he hadn’t felt this way since before the woman was made. It was her fault, he thought, that he was stressed out and alone. Now he had to think about a place to hide. “Just sew the fig leaves together… Eve! Faster!” What were those drops rolling down his wife’s flushed cheeks? Adam didn’t have time to worry about it now, there was something moving in the bushes behind him. What was happening? He looked down for some sort of weapon, but why did he feel the need to use one? Every time he heard a noise from a beast, his heart skipped a few paces faster. Adam had never been afraid of these animals he had named. They had all paraded before him, but he had never felt afraid. Why did he have a sudden urge to protect Eve from whatever was around them? At a peek at her face, why did he also realize she no longer wanted his touch? Shame had crept in like fog; a low lying cloud of doubt, embarrassment, and anger that swept through their once perfect home by a crafty and unseen enemy.
“Adam.” the Father’s voice rang through the garden. Forgotten, the serpent wore a smirk. Eve wore tears that ran so long and far as to drip loudly and unashamedly onto the makeshift leaves and vines covering her nakedness. Jolted by His voice, her eyes swept to her husbands and clung for a moment, red and afraid. Adam slipped halfway behind a big tree, put his finger to his lips, and with barely a shake of his head, a slight wince imploring her to obey him. “Adam, where are you?” They heard the Father’s steps walking the trail close to where they crouched. It was no use. Did they think they could hide from God? Did they think He wasn’t familiar with their steps? Did they understand God knew how many times they had walked up to that tree, just because they wanted to look at it, so they could guess at what it would taste like? Did they think He didn’t know where they were?
Miles of garden, tons of produce, and Adam was told only one fruit was inedible. By the time Eve was made, Adam had a responsibility to relay the gravity of that bit of information and consequence to his wife. We will surely die. We will regret it, we will be cursed, and we will lose favor with God. No, they had never experienced any of that before. Neither one of them had ever seen any repercussions of sin until this moment. They would surely die…What was ‘die’ anyway? They had it made in this garden. Nothing had ever died. But they would be sorry, wanting to wake up and live that day over, and there would be years…generations full of disappointments.
What forbidden fruit dangles on a fragile stem right in front of your eyes? What has the Lord said no to that you’ve worn a familiar path around? Staring it down, walking just close enough, but wondering if your entire life would be fulfilled if you could just have one taste. It would be so easy to snatch a bite out of without being discovered. And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We’re always seen. We’ll always get caught. It might not be right after the first bite, but you are known. You can’t hide from God, and neither can I. Jog that path all day long, so close you could reach out and touch it, but the Father still calls our name. He still calls us to obedience. His desire is for your bold response, so he can walk the path alongside you. He is unashamed of you, full of love and forgiveness.
The best thing to do is wind a new path, one far away from the fruit we cannot have. But if that’s not possible, it’s probably better to look at the fruit, and wonder about it, but still have favor and fellowship with God, than to take a bite. I’d rather not have to suffer a curse, consequences of my choices, disappointment and regret. With that being said, those of us who have grabbed it and taken a bite already, God’s mercies are new every morning. Even though the consequences were great, God allowed Adam and Eve to make a life in a wilderness they were kicked out into. They made it by the Father’s grace.
Want to know the end of the story? You can find it in Genesis chapter 2 and 3. Maybe I’ll blog rest of the story one of these days, but look through and dissect the text. The Bible is amazing. Don’t hurry through this portion. These two were real people, who had walked with the Creator God in His paradise garden more than once. The only two people, until Jesus came, who could have passed on to the generations after, a detailed sketch of His face. The only two who knew what living a sinless life was like, until they made that fateful choice. The first man and woman who understood regret and disappointment.
Then they introduced it to us.
Here’s where God’s misunderstood. He didn’t lose control here in Genesis 2 or 3. He still reigned, still ruled sovereign over the entire universe. Over the serpent, over the man, woman, and the generations to follow. The Father had a plan. God’s plan was in motion for us to understand His deep love and grace.
His love story continues…