Leaving Eden…or Bringing Eden?


two treesWalking through my neighborhood, the winter’s chill seeking to send me back to the warmth of my house. But something else in the crisp evening air bids me stay outside, watch…listen. I pass a house, a large wooden sign hammered into the front lawn. “For sale.” The wrinkled paper on the front window make the reason for the sale obvious: foreclosure. I will pass another one, and another, just as I would in any given neighborhood. A U-haul truck parked in front of a house three doors down, two days after Christmas. How long had they been living there? Is theirs the next house to have the sign hammered into the ground for all to see? Will anyone notice the backdrop of a lovely garden, now wilting for lack of care? Will anyone wonder where the family moved? If they found a home?

The grating sound of a jet tearing through the sky, its noise defying the natural silence of a winter’s evening, reminds me of an article I read the other day. An American spy drone downed by Iran. You wonder what the reaction would have been if the tables were turned…if the US had downed a foreign spy airplane flying over American soil. How long will it be before the “rumors of war” break into full-blown conflict? Who will be spared in the fall-out?

The words of a song I recently heard put it very succinctly, Leaving Eden, by Brandon Heath:

Headlines read like a warning, we’re under attack
I just waved to a stranger, he didn’t wave back
And if it weren’t for my TV I wouldn’t know what is real
My doctor can’t do a thing for how I feel

Feels like I’m leaving Eden
Feels like I’m leaving Eden

People are losing their homes to hurricanes
(One more step away)
Old lady living next door forgot her own name
(One more step away)
Teacher is hiding her Bible but at least she’s got a job
(One more step away)
My local Salvation Army just got robbed

Feels like I’m leaving Eden
Feels like I’m leaving Eden
It’s like I’m further away with every step I take
And I can’t go back ’cause I’m leaving Eden

Every act of violence, of hate, even of indifference and apathy—another step away. Seems like Eden gets further and further each year. With a New Year beginning, is God ready to give up on this people that He created so long ago? Does He recoil in horror at what He sees of mankind today? Does He draw back further from a world that has forgotten Him? Has He forgotten us?

How far away has Eden become, as we daily eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? That tree abounds in this day and age: in the wrong decisions we see mankind making—a mankind comprised of each one of us; even in the decisions we make to try to “be good” or “get religion”. We have sought good, and we have experienced evil.

Yet there is a Tree, one that was out of our grasp for a time. Yet it was returned to us long ago. The Tree of Life. The only Tree that will bring true life and lasting peace to the people of the world.

Rather than being further than ever and out of reach, if we were to stop and listen, we would hear the whispers of the wind. If we would stop and close our eyes, we would feel the breath of His Spirit moving, whispering, calling, beckoning us to move out from the life which we’ve always known and into a life of greater understanding, greater desire for Him, greater knowledge of Him.

In this world which we have broken, He is pouring out healing and restoration. In this world that we have torn with war, He still bestows a peace that passes understanding. His only request, that we believe and follow… that we embrace the life He brings, and not only claim it for ourselves but also reach out to give it to others.

The New Year dawns, a time of new life. Perhaps it is the best time to give that which is most precious to a weary and dying world.

Are we leaving Eden? Have we forever departed away from a life of connection and closeness to God? Perhaps the question should instead be:

Are we bringing Eden?

With every act of love, of forgiveness, of selfless giving, we are bringing a portion of what was lost to mankind so long ago.

Don’t be afraid to share whatever Eden you have—whether it is a dream of the future, a hope in your heart, a word of truth, even a broken smile or laughter through tears. It could be just what someone needs to draw them Home.

Happy New Year!

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One comment on “Leaving Eden…or Bringing Eden?

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