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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: EAST OF EDEN
By Kathleen Morris
05/12/06


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What is the measure of a man? Do riches make him noble, or are his actions the deciding factor?

For a long time I pondered on this question as I followed my husband to the ends of the earth like a vagabond. It was a lifetime of regret, shame, and misery. A choice I made so long ago.

“You must never turn your back on God,” Mother told us with tear-filled eyes as she bid a reluctant farewell.

But hadn’t God turned his back on us?

My world stopped that day. I knew I would never see my family again. I knew it was the last time I would see my Mother’s gentle face. Tears flooded my eyes at the realization while Cain tugged on my hand to go.

Even now, as I look back, my heart aches with the painful memory. It was the beginning of my life as well as the end, and without a doubt, a punishment for sin.

During our travels to the Land of Nod, I became bitter. My stomach was hungry and my body was weak. Even though Mother had wanted us to keep the faith, I could not. I cursed God and all that he had made, including myself.

“Just kill me like you did your brother!” I shouted to Cain one night when I had lost all hope. My heart was aching, full of misery, and my belly swelling with a new life I didn’t want.

How could I bring a child into this world? Would he be a fugitive like his father? What kind of mother would want that for her son?

Cain just held me as my body shook with pain. There was nobody to help as the labour gripped my midsection. I moaned in his arms as he turned his head to God.

“How can you pray to him after all he’s done to you…to us?”

“I curse myself and my sin that brought us here!”

As the baby birthed his head to a new world around him, Cain lifted the child as a testament to all who would enter east of Eden.

“NEITHER GOD NOR ANY OTHER MAN SHALL PROSPER MORE THAN THIS CHILD I HOLD BEFORE ME. HE SHALL WALK IN A NEW WORLD AS A FREE MAN, FATHER OF A GREAT GENERATION OF WEALTH AND PROSPERITY. FOR HE SHALL REIGHN AS KING OVER ALL, FAR GREATER THAN GOD HIMSELF. HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED LAMECH.”

But Cain was fooling himself. We were still a lost generation forced to live in exile, and nothing was ever going to change that. We couldn’t go home and that meant we were prisoners in this counterfeit Eden. Not even the many sons and daughters that followed would change our destiny.

We scraped together what little we could to build a home as I watched the man I love shrink to a lesser form of himself. As time went on I found myself hating all that he was. I despised his twisted ideas, his distorted definition of a man. Wealth was all he talked about with his sons, that, and their ever-growing heap of treasures he valued more than me.

I argued with him endlessly, disobeying him, and seeking solitude in the hills by myself. I spent hours on my knees, sobbing, moaning, and blaming Cain for everything. But I should have been accusing myself. I chose this life. Yes, I shouldn’t have had to pay for the sins of my husband, but I did. What was happening to me was merely the inevitable consequences.

Finally, I cried out to God for the first time in a long time, and he proved to be forgiving and accepting with open arms. When I tried to tell Cain, he pushed me aside. When I tried to tell the children, they did the same.

But all was not lost. Though I bore a wayward generation, I regained the faith that was stolen from me, and now cling to my father once again.

It is my hope that all Eve’s daughters will learn from my mistakes and retell my story to the sons of Adam so that they may seek God’s face through sin and adversity, pursuing forgiveness instead of selfishness, wealth, and pride.

God is our celestial pattern, the obvious measure of a man. I learnt this the hard way--but many still don’t know that God loves his children and wants them to come home.....even those east of Eden.


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This article has been read 591 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/18/06
What a great character you've given voice to here! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. If you're looking to publish it, you'll want to find a new title, as this is the title of a Stienbeck novel--but that's an easy enough fix. This was a great read; thank you.
Delores Baber05/18/06
Great choice of viewing prosperity or the lack of. Never have I thought of the woman Cain chose for his wife. How many women today are dissatisfied because they married someone who was at odds with his Creator? Marry in haste, repent in leisure. I sense this woman had to be very lonely, since none of her immediate family shared her view of prosperity.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/21/06
This is exellent writing. The person of Cain's wife was great. Good job.
George Parler 05/22/06
This is the first writing that I know of that has given a voice to Cain's wife. Great job! Very unique perspective with this.

As a personal preference, it would have been nice to try to conceal her identity as long as possible, which would have created a storied crescendo towards the end. But it's still a great work like it is.
Marty Wellington 05/23/06
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, especially given the personality. What creativity to think of Cain's wife and give her a face. This truly shows the hand of God upon this writer! Thanks for sharing with us!
dub W05/24/06
Very well presented, the voice of Cain's wife - how introspective. Thank you for sharing this.
Kathleen Morris06/01/06
Sorry guys. When I wrote this story, I accidently used the wrong name for Cain's first born son. It isn't Lamech, it is Enoch. My apolgies!