Thoughts of Eve

I’ve been thinking a lot about Eve. If she had a Facebook page, I would feel at ease with making a friend request. Even more, if she called and said she was heading over to Starbucks and did I have the time, I would leave my house without checking my makeup.

I’d want to hear about what the garden was like back when. The cool of the day with our Lord, please, describe each minute. Describe God to me, Eve. Was He brighter than the light of seven suns? Did the light of His Glory linger over everything wherever you walked? Did it linger about you, too, then?

I know how conversations go. I know that eventually, we’d get around to That Thing That Happened. I’d like to take in the 93% of communication that has nothing to do with words, drinking in Eve’s eyes and her posture as she explained what happened. And I would want to reach for her hand and reassure her that I understand. I really do.

Eve and I, we are so similar. I don’t trust my Creator. I’m sure he’s holding out on me, too.

And the result?  I understand that, too. I can imagine the loss and confusion. I know the naked awareness that entered into her mind with the knowledge of all things. As a woman, I fully feel what it was like to have enough babies to start civilization but have none of them be ‘that’ seed of salvation, dying in the realization that that hope was not yet.

You know it, too, because we live in it every day. If it’s not our moment of realization, it’s someone’s close to us. The yesterday of our hope so different from the reality of today.

I am thinking of friends holding a perfect, beautiful baby girl for 13 hours before finding out about the tumor in her brain.

I am thinking of a family who woke on a Sunday morning to a warning and then stood across the road to watch their house darken in flames.

I am thinking of a man whose body successfully accepted another woman’s kidney and now faces a critical cancer.

For us in these days, we must redirect our hearts and minds to the purity of Creation. We must sanction a place of trust. We have to declare that God is good all the time—and then believe it. We have to do it in the morning. We have to do it all day.

And God meets us each time we do in all His glory.

Comfort in Ritual

“Take Comfort in Ritual.” I saw this phrase appliqued on the door of a local coffee stop. A simple marketing slogan that has stuck with me. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I‘m a ritualistic type of guy. I like routine and predictability. I do enjoy a bit of mystery and have been known to be spontaneous – even a little silly. But I find there’s something restful, peaceful and calm about doing the same things, the same way. Patterns, cycles and seasons. Waking and sleeping. Getting and receiving. Work. Purpose. Life. Death. Some rituals are unavoidable. Some painful. Boring. Heavy. Intrusive.

Is this too much musing over a slogan? Seriously. The coffee shop owners just want me to make a habit of drinking their brew. To find comfort in a daily visit that adds to their bottom line. But maybe what grabbed me in the slogan begs for more from me.

Coincidentally (or providentially depending on your perspective) I ran into an excerpt from G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy last week. It had nothing to do with coffee, but did speak to ritual. Here’s Chesterton:

“A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.

It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun: and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.”

—”The Ethics of Elfland,” chapter 4 in Orthodoxy.

Oh to have more joy in God-ordained monotony, to cheer quickly and often, “Do it again!” I am grateful that each morning Jesus Christ is “doing it again” – in me, in my family, and in the world around me. He hasn’t turned His back. He hasn’t quit. He is predictable yet mysterious. Monotonous yet exhilarating. I take comfort in His ritual.