Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
- TITLE: It All Happened in the Garden
By Ruth Neilson
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Elohim turns and smiles at all that He has created. The pinks, blues, greens, violets, and yellows mingle together, offering their scents as a sweet perfume. The flowers bow their newly crowned heads in His presence and begin to dance along the light breeze that spreads through the garden. He laughs and lights explode in the heavens.
IT IS GOOD.
The bubbling bemusement of a babbling brook feeds the clear waters of the streams of joy. The trees sway slowly in the breeze, lifting their branches to honor their maker. They are heavy with the fruits of thankfulness and praise. All, but three, one has a single fruit, shining, beautiful and tempting, for it holds the knowledge of life and death, good and evil...all within its multicolored flesh. The other two, named Forgiveness and Grace were bare, for it was not their season yet.
One garden forms a home for the Maker’s greatest creation.
AND HE BREATHED…
Fashioned from the dust, two creatures, formed in the image of God, the gardeners.
“Adam, come, look at this tree!” Eve called.
Adam looked up, raking his dirt-covered hand through his red hair, and grinned as he trotted across the soft grass. When he reached her, he stopped, and stared. It was the forbidden tree. In Eve’s hand was the single fruit that was once on its branches.
“Eve, don’t...” He began, but then stopped. The colors of the fruit’s flesh seemed to throb hypnotically. Eve looked at him, then at the brilliant blue sky, and then down at the alluring fruit.
“I wonder what it tastes like.” She murmured, her slender fingers tightened around the fruit, in an almost bruising grip. “I wonder what it is like to know all that Abba knows...”
With that thought, Eve lifted the fruit towards her mouth, took a small bite, closing her eyes in pleasure of the taste, swallowing, before offering the fruit towards Adam. He accepted the sticky fruit and stared down at it for a long moment. The curiosity was overwhelming and he bit into the fruit.
The ground shook, the gardeners banished, and all that was good destroyed, all but two trees.
The garden was all but abandoned. The flowers wilted and became weeds underneath leather-bound feet. The air was now silent as dust storms formed a large hill in the center of the garden.
Forgiveness and Grace stood alone now, no longer beautiful, still barren of fruit. Their sap was tapped on a yearly basis, to offer the people of Elohim, the chosen seeds of Israel, atonement for their evil deeds.
But the year of maturity was almost upon the two trees. Their fruits, crimson in color, were forming. But, the trees were needed for something more sinister. Forgiveness and Grace were felled, shaped into rough beams, and lashed together as they wept for their children.
Surely, Adonai had not abandoned his people. Grace whispered sadly, as he felt ropes tossed carelessly over him. A man’s body was positioned and cold metal pierced through flesh and wood.
And with mighty heaves, the two trees, now bound together as one, rose into the air. Blood red seeds dropped to the earth as the man struggled to breath.
IT IS FINISHED!
He breathed his last and Forgiveness felt his body sag heavily. She was in shock...she recognized the man...and wept openly as his body was removed from the trees’ entwined forms.
A once familiar breeze swept across the hill and the seeds took root in the barren soil. The two trees remained on that hill, watching as the seed spread, bringing color, and life. Forgiveness blinked in disbelief. At the base of the intertwined trees were two small saplings, named Hope and Eternal, the offspring of the two trees.
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