Immanuel didn’t understand. He usually loved it when the Maker visited the garden, longed for it, in fact. Now something was different.
The man would know. The man was the Maker’s favorite. He remembered opening his eyes for the first time and seeing the Maker and the man seated together on the grass. The Maker was smiling and the man was concentrating.
“Sheep,” said the man. “I will call this kind sheep.”
The Maker beamed, and Immanuel felt proud and small at the same time. He held his head high and stood straight. Then he lowered his head and bent his front legs. The man put his hand on his head and scratched his ears. How good that had felt.
He remembered that first day well. He felt warm whenever he thought about it. But today was different. Today was . . . was. He didn’t know a word for it; he just knew it was not good. It was good to eat grass and drink cool water. It was good to lie down beside the one the man called Lion and take a nap. It was good to watch the Maker and the man walk in the garden and talk. This feeling was the opposite of that. This was not good.
The man and the woman -- the Maker had made her for the man -- were hiding in the garden, but they were not playing games.
“Where are you?” The Maker’s voice was different. It was sharper and more powerful than usual.
“I heard the sound of You in the garden,” the man answered. “And I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
That was unthinkable! The man had done something the Maker told him not to do. He would never even do anything the man told him not to do, much less the Maker.
There was more though. The man said the woman told him to do it, and the woman said the serpent told her it would be alright. Then the Maker looked at the serpent and began speaking more loudly, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life.”
The serpent immediately dropped to the ground and started to move away. He was wriggling on his belly just like the Maker had said. Immanuel felt sorry for the serpent. He also began to feel something else but didn’t know a word for it. He was shaking and panting hard.
The Maker looked at the woman, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for you husband, and he will rule over you.”
Immanuel began to shrink lower to the ground, but he could not run.
“Cursed is the ground because of you.” The Maker now had his face toward the man. “In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread till you return to the ground because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Immanuel did not know what the Maker’s words meant. The man and woman did, though. He could see the understanding in their eyes. Then the maker turned and looked at him. That couldn’t be. He was not there when the woman ate the fruit, or when she gave it to the man.
Somehow he knew that did not matter. Now everything was different – including him.
The Maker seized Immanuel by the neck. Immanuel kicked and screamed, his sheep’s voice bleating into the garden’s stillness. The once bright eyes that had smiled at him now burned fiercely. He did not know why nor did he know why water was coming from the Maker’s eyes. The Maker’s grip tightened.
Again. Fear. Blackness.
“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
(Scripture: NAS -- Genesis 3:9b, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17b-19, 21)
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