"What is this, Eve?" Adam pointed at his feet where a strange plant grew. Neither had seen it before.
"I don't know, husband." She knelt at his feet and touched the stiff spines.
"Be careful, Eve. So many things are different now."
"But it may be that it could be food for us. I'm going to try to pluck it. Do you have your flint?"
"No, don't touch it Eve! You might...get hurt..."
Eve looked puzzled. "Hurt?"
Adam pulled her to her feet and turned her to face him.
"Remember what Father said in the before time? He said, 'The ground will be cursed and thorns would grow.' Perhaps this is a thorn." Adam looked down at the sharp, needle-like leaves on the small green plant. "I don't think thorns are a good thing, Eve."
"Perhaps. But I like the purple flowers, husband. They're pretty."
Adam was suddenly transported back to the before time, the day he met Eve for the first time-the day he'd first learned the meaning of the word pretty. Adam studied her downturned face as she gazed at the plant. She was still pretty, even with the shadows and lines around her eyes. Her face had changed that dark day as the juice of the fruit dribbled down her chin when they'd both listened to the song of the serpent.
He stayed her hand as she reached for the thorny plant. "No, Eve, I don't think you should touch it."
She started to argue but then he saw her eyes widen, staring beyond him. She collapsed at his feet, face hidden behind her hands.
Adam whirled around to see what had scared her. What he saw dropped him to his knees. A light-filled presence stood there, glowing and shimmering. Adam could just barely remember what his Creator had looked like when they'd shared life in the garden, but it hadn't been like this. Then as he stared, slack-jawed in awe, the presence resolved itself into a man, tall and strong. Adam now recognized him. He wanted to jump up and run into his arms, but the wonder of the sight pinned his knees to the ground.
"Adam, my son, and Eve, my daughter. Do not be afraid of the thorn. Yes, it is sharp and it might pierce your hand as you touch it, but it has a great purpose in this dark world."
"Lord God, You are here, in this place we are banished to?" Adam's voice almost failed him, his question ending in a whisper.
"My son, I AM."
Adam felt the delicious warmth of his Creator's presence enveloping him as he knelt there. Then a frown formed above his eyes.
"You have a question, Adam?"
"What...what is the thorn's purpose? Is it food for us?"
The Lord God stepped close to his children and drew them to their feet, his massive hands on their shoulders.
"No, my children, it is not food for you." He reached down and plucked the spiny plant out of the ground. Turning it over in his hand, he said, "One day, many times ahead, I will wear them as a crown on my head as I hang between heaven and earth for your redemption. Just as I clothed you with the skins you now wear, I will then clothe you with my presence and my perfection, that you will never be apart from me again."
The Creator tenderly laid the thorn in Adam's hand. Adam saw a smear of blood on his fingers and looked up into God's face.
"Yes, my son, I too bleed. That is the purpose of the thorn, my son. When I cursed the ground with thorns because of your rebellion, I also made a way for the thorn to become a blessing for you and the generations to come. From now on, every time you bleed because of the thorn, remember its purpose."
And suddenly, just as God had appeared to them, he was gone, leaving them staring in wonder at the thorn in Adam's hand.
The story above is not in Leaving Your Lover...but pressed itself upon me when I was thinking about Adam and Eve's story in chapter one of the book. Most of writing stories is about wondering. What would happen if...? What would it be like to...?
Leaving Your Lover and my other two books, Who Are These People Books One and Two, are available on Amazon. All three are written in the devotional style with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. If you ever wondered what it was like for people in the Bible-real people just like us-to meet God, to fall in love with Him or to hate and reject Him, these books might just be right up your spiritual alley!
Check them out on Amazon by going to my website. Or, come to Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, WA on Saturday, November 10th, from 2PM-4PM. I will be signing books and visiting with you and your neighbors!