It’s time to let Adam and Eve off the hook. Yes, eating from the tree of life was a big mistake. Their bad. Listening to the snake in the first place, not a smart move. Eve would love to take that one back. The story reveals humans for who we really are. Excepting Victoria’s Secret models, we’re often ashamed of our nude bodies, even when they’re in good working order. We like to eat lambs and trophy hunt lions. And we generally blame each other when things go wrong. Theologians are divided on the bible story, depending if: a) They believe it in the first place. b) They’re sexist pigs who pin everything on Eve. Or c) They take it as a metaphorical example of how we all need to be saved.
Falling can happen unexpectedly. A trap door opens beneath our feet, and down we go. For example. My hubby had to undergo a procedure that meant fasting for two days. He didn’t whine about it, but took a relaxed attitude. It was almost disappointing how well he was doing. Because I felt extremely anxious. We went to Home Depot, then to Chapters for a cup of tea. I was famished. I’d been sneaking around our apartment, chewing apples in dark corners like a rat who’d wandered in from the street. I didn’t want to eat in front of him, so I was much hungrier than I usually allow myself to get. (First world problem, I know) Hungry. Irritable. Or, as my family likes to say, ‘Hanson Hangry.’ It takes the definition up a couple of notches.
Anyway, I’m in line to pay for my book and I see Godiva chocolate bars right by the checkout counter. I snatch one, pay for it and stick it in my purse. Over the next half hour, I redefined the word ‘sneaky.’ If Clarence bent down to tie his shoe, I stuffed three pieces into my mouth. (I’m almost certain I consumed half the tinfoil in this way.) I would misdirect him by pointing and saying, ‘Do we know him?’ He was so tired from not eaten for two days that he wasn’t even suspicious. Did I feel bad? Yes and no. It sucked that he couldn’t eat anything. But somehow, chocolate tastes a lot better when you have to sneak it.
If God would have kept Her mouth shut, Adam and Even wouldn’t have paid any attention to the tree of life. They would have stayed completely comfortable in their little nude world of free food and gentle animal life. As for me, chocolate is my every day fruit. And when I think I can’t have it, then I Want Some Now! What can I say? I was hangry. I never usually eat chocolate that sweet, either. Too much sugar for me and I end up with a bellyache. But it was there! And how could I say no?
There are vices I’ve always felt a little judgemental about. Things I couldn’t imagine doing with my money or time. But we all fall down, every one of us. Mother Theresa maybe longed to wipe the floor with sisters less efficient at cleaning up the lepers. And Jesus was a little impatient with people for wanting to start a revolution, and not getting the whole ‘Kingdom within,’ thing. Even really excellent teachers can get frustrated sometimes. Saviours want to walk away, even when they don’t. Some fall in these tiny ways, retaining their saintlike status. Others steal the funds from foreign orphanages, or dial up old people, telling them they won a trip and scamming them out of their hard earned money. Those con artists are going for gold in the Falling Down Olympics. We’re shocked when we hear these things. But. To some extent, we all partake. Whew! I feel so much better, now that I’ve made my confession. I bet you do too. Let’s hold hands and sing Kumbaya.