Eden in Exile

Babel and Eden. These places wrestle within me.

Eden.

Rich and green and plentiful. There, all is provided, given, granted. I am only to receive and respond. The trees of the garden nourish me. In the cool of shade I make my bed, embraced by God’s friendly earth. I am precious, and I am creaturely. I am queen, and I am child. I am dependent on grace; God will provide all that I need. And Faith; I trust God is faithful to do as He says.

Babel.

It is not enough. I can do more. I can be great. From the earth I can cut, tear, command and use. I do not receive, I take. I do not subdue, I break. I have ripped the apple from the tree to feed myself. I have cut down the tree of knowledge to build cities. I have made myself great. I drew up a contract; this land is mine. I am a queen and I am a criminal; I have stolen. I am dependent on only myself; I can provide all that I need. I have faith in only myself; only I can provide.

Exile.

He had to cast me out. My city has fallen. I cut down the trees of my garden. I claimed my inheritance, and I spent it all on crumbling brick and clay. I have no more to barter with; I sucked my garden dry. I am not great. I am not a queen. But, as I wonder, I come to my senses. He always provides; He always makes a way.

Gethsemane.

In that garden, He wrestled with Babel and Eden. He, who was great, humbled himself. He who rightfully owned all, gave. He was King and he was Son, but he submitted himself to death. He is grace; He gave all that is needed in himself. He is Faith; He entrusted himself to the father. Where I uprooted, he planted himself as the seed of the resurrection. He is the first fruit of the new garden.

Return.

So, in this life I wrestle. Eden receives, and Babel takes, and the exile is long. But, I look for the coming and I remember that He wrestled. I wrestle to rely in Grace: He has provided all that I need. I hold onto Faith: what has been begun will be completed. And I wait for the New Kingdom, rich, green and plentiful. Where He will say again… It is good.

 

Joy Clarkson

Joy Clarkson is a featured columnist and the Director of Marketing at Humane Pursuits. She is a graduate of Biola University, and also spent time as a visiting student at Oxford University studying C.S. Lewis, Literature, and Theology. Her days are spent helping people and companies tell their stories well, pondering, writing, singing, and drinking too much Yorkshire Gold tea.

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