Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Eden, Part One

     Eve leaned back from her work and rubbed her hands.  They seemed to be more gnarled and swollen every day.  She knew, as the matriarch of this family, that the other women would have released her from these daily tasks if she wished.  Every year she lived was longer than any other woman had ever lived, so this (like everything else) was new ground.  But she did not like to be idle.  She knew better than anyone else just what she was created for.  Doing the Lord’s work was part of her design.  She also carried with her some lingering guilt, even after centuries of life, that the work should have ever become so hard and toilsome in the first place.  How could she shirk her duties knowing that her choices had brought them about?  No, she no longer agonized over what she’d done that day so long ago.  She was too old, and she had long since forgiven herself as she knew the Lord, in His mercy, had done.  Still, she could never shake the feeling that she ought to participate, even if only a little, in the daily tasks of survival.  She owed her children that much.
            She smiled as she watched some of these children now playing under a nearby tree.  She had given up trying to keep track of the generations that came from her body a long, long time ago.  She did marvel at the fact that each and every person in the world now could be traced back to her.  They were, and would always be, all her descendents.  She smiled to herself as she thought about it, for what other woman would ever be able to say such a thing?  What an amazing creation of the Lord – family.  Family ties, family bonds.  All of mankind bonded together by the same blood.  She wondered what those ties would mean in the years to come.  Would her descendents remember from where they came?  Would they keep faith with one another?  Or would the sin she and her husband had  let into creation fester and grow, driving people further and further into their own selfish desires and curiosities?  After all, it had only taken to their firstborn child to see bloodshed, and she had heard of his many infamous exploits since his exile so many decades ago – but she wouldn’t dwell on that now, she firmly told herself.  She would not think of Cain, her wayward son wandering in faraway lands.  It did no good to dwell on such things, Adam had told her over and over again.  There was nothing they could do but pray, and worrying only brought the pain back to her heart fresh and anew.
            Instead she turned her thoughts to her own mortality.  She wondered how much longer she had in this realm.  She had already lived over 900 years.  How much longer?   Again, as with so much else, this was new territory.  No one knew how long man could last.  However, she had a growing sensation that her time here was growing to a close.  And what would happen when death finally came?  Would she return to the land she loved, or would she simply vanish from existence?  She really didn’t think the latter was the case.  The older she got, the close she felt to the Lord and the life He had for her next.  Oh, if only she could communicate with Him the way she once did!  They were able to have relationship, to be sure, and He spoke to her and her to Him, but it was never, never the same as it had once been.  If only she could see Him, walk side by side with Him again.  900 years of life had not dulled those memories, as if anything ever could.  Her and Adam, walking and talking with the God that created them for His own pleasure.  She still lived those moments in her dreams.  She longed for the day that would surely come when she would not wake from those dreams, but pass into them as her reality. 
            She leaned back and closed her eyes, remembering…

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