She slowly opened her eyes against the bright light and blinked several times before searching around her. She had no memory; she had no knowledge of what had happened before then. She glanced at her flesh and then reached to touch a blade of grass. Everything was new. Everything was fresh and bright.
She slowly raised her head and brought herself up to sit. So many sounds and sights overwhelmed her. She didn’t know what to look at first. She inhaled the sweet smell of life and then held onto to it, never wanting to let the moment pass.
A groan behind her caught her attention and she twisted to see what had made the noise.
She saw something laying in the grass beside her. It was long and strange but appeared similar to herself. She edged closer and slowly reached over to touch it.
The creature rolled over and she saw him. She caressed the contours of his strong face. She traced his lips and nose. She felt his warm breath on her fingertips.
As she leaned over the handsome creature, his eyes opened and he smiled up at her.
“Hello there,” he said.
His voice was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. She smiled.
“I am called Adam.”
She tilted her head.
“And I shall call you…Eve. For you were taken from me.” Adam reached over to his side.
Eve saw a faint line across his body. She reached out and traced the line with her fingers.
“God has taken you from my bone and made you flesh of my flesh.”
Eve looked deep into Adam’s eyes. “God?” she asked.
“Oh yes. God.” Adam smiled deeply as he sat up. “Come sit with me,” he reached out for her hand.
Eve obeyed and looked around and then back at Adam.
“Just wait,” he assured her.
After a few moments, a form moved toward them.
Eve glanced at Adam.
Eve rose slowly and waited for the form to come closer.
Light encircled the man who stood before Eve. He was so beautiful. She thought Adam had been beautiful, but God was magnified with so much radiance, it took her breath away. His white curly hair and bronzed feet shone bright. And His eyes. His eyes were like fire which pierced through her and in the same moment shone with absolute love.
“Eve, my daughter,” God said as He drew her to Himself. “How are you, sweet child?”
All she could do was smile.
“Adam,” God called the man closer. “She is yours. I have shown you every creature I created and there was not found one suitable to be a partner for you. So, I have formed Eve for you. She shall be your helper and you shall be her provider and guide. Love her, Adam. I’ve made her especially for you.”
“Thank you, Lord.”
God took Adam’s hand and placed it together with Eve’s. “I’m giving you to each other.”
“This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” Adam said. “She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”
God smiled and said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.”
Eve smiled up at Adam.
“I’m leaving her in your care, Adam. Take care of her as you do for your own body and love her.”
“I will see you again soon,” God said before walking away.
Eve took a few steps after Him.
“It’s okay, Eve. He’ll return.” Adam took his wife’s hand. “Come, I have so much to show you.”
Eve followed Adam through the entire garden and saw all he pointed out.
“God has allowed me to name each of the creatures He created. Each one has its match and each has a place here in the garden. And you, my beautiful woman, have been created to fill what was missing.” Adam pulled her in close to himself and kissed her deeply.
As they walked along toward the center of the Garden, Eve noticed a large tree. “What is that?”
Adam glanced in the direction she pointed. “Oh, that is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The one tree which is off limits. God said we are not allowed to eat of that tree or we shall die.”
Eve frowned. “Why?”
“It is God’s rule, Eve. We have the entire garden and all fruit in it to eat. God has only given us one rule to follow: the fruit of that tree must not be eaten.”
One day, Eve was walking in the garden alone. She had helped Adam all morning and wanted a few moments to explore on her own.
As the day grew late, Eve’s stomach growled and she grabbed her midsection.
Then she saw the forbidden tree. The fruit looked so delicious.
I need to find some food soon. But Adam said I can’t eat from that tree.
As Eve turned to find her husband, she heard a strange sound.
“Eve,” a soothing voice called.
She turned to see a large serpent walking toward her.
“I heard your stomach. Are you not hungry?”
“Why yes, I am. In fact, I was going to pick something for myself.”
“Why not eat the fruit here?” The serpent patted the trunk of the large tree.
Eve shook her head. “God said we can’t eat of that fruit.”
The serpent chuckled. “Didn’t God say you could eat fruit from any tree in the entire garden?”
“Well, God said we could eat of any tree in the garden. But we can’t eat from the tree in the middle of the garden.” She pointed to the tree. “God said we shouldn’t eat or even touch it, otherwise we’ll die.”
The serpent stroked the bark of the tree. “You will not die. God only told you that because He knows if you eat this fruit, your eyes will be opened and you will be a god because you will know good and evil.”
Eve’s stomach protested. She looked at the ripe fruit which hung low on the branches. Taking a step closer, she reached up and plucked a piece. She held the fruit to her nose and inhaled its sweet savor.
“See, you shall not die,” the serpent hissed.
Eve closed her eyes and opened her lips. A burst of sweet juices flooded her mouth as she bit into the crisp fruit. She chewed the bite and then opened her eyes. The beautiful garden she had grown to love seemed to dim. She glanced over at the serpent.
“Oh no,” she said as she watched the serpent’s mouth twist into a vicious grin.
For the first time ever, Eve was terrified. The serpent frightened her with his glances.
Eve looked down at her flesh and noticed she was exposed. Suddenly, she felt the need to cover herself. As she frantically grabbed at nearby leaves, the serpent walked away chuckling to himself.
She sat down in the grass and thought about what she had done. It couldn’t be undone, but what was she to do now? Then Eve heard something rustle. At first, she thought it was the serpent coming back but then she heard Adam’s voice.
“Eve?” he called. “Eve?”
“Here I am, Adam,” she said as she rose slowly from the bushes.
“Eve? What’s wrong?”
Eve thought quickly. “Come here, my husband. I have something to share with you.” She handed him the fruit she had taken a bite of. “It is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten.”
Adam took the fruit. He brought it to his lips and took a bite. “It is good. Where did you get it?”
Eve pointed to the tree.
Adam looked down at the fruit and then back at her. “Eve! What have you done? God told us not to eat from that tree.”
Eve watched the beautiful color drain from her husband’s face.
Adam spit out the fruit but it was too late. He looked down at his flesh and at his wife who was covered with mud and leaves.
“Adam, now we can be like God.”
“We’re naked, Eve!”
“Here,” she said. “Take some of these and cover yourself.” She rubbed his body with mud and leaves.
As Adam tried desperately to cover his shame, they both heard rustling.
“Oh no.” Adam looked up in the sky and saw how late it was getting and the air had grown cool. “He’s coming.” Adam pulled his wife’s arm. “Come on, we need to hide.”
They ducked behind a nearby bush.
“Adam?” They heard God call. “Eve?”
Eve’s breath quickened as she held onto Adam’s arm and buried her face into his shoulder.
Adam placed his finger over his lips.
Eve’s eyes began to water and she closed them to try to erase what was happening.
God’s steps drew closer to them and then the brush moved.
“Adam? Why are you hiding?”
Adam stood. “I heard your voice in the Garden and was afraid and I’m naked so I hid myself.”
God’s eyes burned bright. “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the one tree I told you not to eat?”
Adam pointed down at Eve. “The woman You gave me; she gave me the fruit to eat.”
Eve stood and took a step away from them.
“What have you done?” God asked her.
Eve shook her head as she backed up further. “It was the serpent. He tricked me and so I ate.”
“Serpent,” God called.
The serpent stepped from the bushes.
“Because you have done this thing, you are cursed above every creature. Upon your belly you shall go.” God pointed at the creature.
The serpent’s arms and legs fell off and withered on the ground.
Eve heard the serpent screech as he threw himself on the ground.
“And dust shall you eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the woman. Between your seed and her seed. Her seed shall bruise your head and your seed shall bruise his heel.”
Eve’s skin crawled as she watched the serpent slither away.
“Eve,” God said.
She gulped as she tried to fight looking into God’s scorching eyes.
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception. In deep sorrow will you bring forth children. And your desire will be toward your husband and he shall rule over you.”
Eve began to weep.
God turned toward Adam. “Because you have hearkened unto the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you not to eat, I will curse the ground for your sake. In sorrow, you shall partake of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall take over the earth and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground. For out of it were you taken and unto dust shall you return.”
“Now, you must take your wife and leave the garden.”
“But God…” Adam reached for Him.
God held up His hand. “This is how it must be.”
Eve noticed two young lambs prance into the open field behind God.
Moving into the meadow, God beckoned the animals to Himself. He picked them up and took them back to Adam and Eve.
They watched as God searched the ground for a stone. Then, to their horror, God struck the creatures. He placed each at their feet.
Eve watched as God took a sharp rock and removed the skin from the animals. Fashioning the skins into a covering, God removed the leaves from Adam and placed the skin on him. God did the same for Eve.
Eve’s stomach turned over at the sight of the blood which covered God’s hands and His white robe.
“Now, it’s time,” God said.
Adam took Eve’s hand as they left the garden.
On the other side of the gate, Adam and Eve stood in front of two large angels with swords of blazing fire.
God stood in front of them and said, “The entire world is yours. Work the ground and multiply. Fill the earth with your kind and subdue the world.”
“Take this,” God said as he handed Adam a pouch. “It will be food enough until you can plant and prepare for yourselves.”
Adam and Eve tuned away from the garden and walked until it was too dark to see.
Eve’s stomach growled loudly.
Adam stopped. He opened the pouch and handed Eve a piece of fruit.
Eve stared at the apple in his extended hand. Her eyes filled with tears and she shook her head.
“Eve, you need to eat.”
She shook her head again. “How can I ever eat again?” Eve began to weep. “It’s all my fault, Adam.” She waved around the barren land. “All of this is my fault. We wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t listened to that dumb serpent. I’m sorry, Adam. How can you ever forgive me? I want to go home. I want to go back to the garden.”
Adam sighed deeply and hugged his wife. “There, there now. Listen, I want to go home too but we can’t. We have broken God’s command and now we must live with the consequences.” He held her at arm’s length. “And it’s not all your fault. If I had been with you, I could have stopped you. Besides, I ate too.”
“Oh, Adam…” Eve cried and fell into her husband’s chest.
Adam stroked her hair. “Shh, everything will be alright. We are still together. We have each other.”