A meditation by Elena Martinz
“Is it true that God forbade you to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge?”
The voice came from an undefined point. The voice was different from that of her Father. He did not seem to want to ask a simple question, but rather question something. He could have very well added “but come on, you can’t be serious!” It seemed that the stranger wanted to gossip.
The girl did not answer. Why would she reveal to a stranger something that did not concern him?
The voice became more insistent: “Come on I don’t want to hurt you. It was just a question. A curiosity, let’s say.”
The girl turned around, thinking she had heard a rustle. She would never have revealed anything, just for curiosity’s sake. There was no need for gossiping or eavesdropping because in the garden there were no secrets. Everything was clear and everything could be seen. A strange thing was that the voice had not been preceded by footsteps. It seemed, at one point, to come from one direction, and then from another, but was accompanied only by a dull, continuous noise.
Why wouldn’t he come out into the open? The garden was beautiful, everything was beautiful. There was nothing to fear. Why hide?
The girl approached a short tree, from whose braided and rugged trunk two branches spread out, one on the right and one on the left. They were two open arms inviting her to embrace it. Admiring the tree, she responded to the invitation.
The voice became contemptuous: “If you do not answer, then it means that it is true that God has forbidden you that fruit which is so desirable! See how beautiful it is! In your opinion, God, as good as he is, would forbid you to eat it?”
The girl was convinced that the voice was coming from below and she noticed a cloud of dust rising not far from her. Because He is good, He knows what could hurt me, she thought to herself. Now she knew without a doubt that that strange voice, which had nothing in common with that of her Father, did not belong to the garden. Whoever he was, he had snuck in without permission.
“In reality, God knows that if you ate that lovely fruit, you would become like him! What did he tell you instead? That you would surely die? And you believe that God can die?”
This time the girl sensed something near her foot, but it lasted only a moment. Become like Him? – She thought to herself, but remained silent – I look so much like Him: when I look at Him, it’s like looking into a mirror.
“Come on, let’s go try it and see! I know you’re hungry, taste it … don’t worry, you will not die. On the contrary, you will become a goddess and everything you see will be yours.”
The voice had become firm, imperative. Was he trying to command her? This time the girl had seen a thin, fast, slimy thing moving among the rocks right next to her. That strange beast was fast, but she was faster: she lifted her foot and stomped on him. “It’s all mine already. I’m His daughter.”
The girl said as she crushed that ugly thing that was so impertinent.
She heard the soft steps of God approaching her.
“Mary, where are you?”
The girl smiled broadly. Finally, a familiar voice, full of love and not of nosiness. Running towards those steps, which were preceded by a light breeze, she replied, “Here I am, Father. I’m yours.” The girl was radiant.
“How beautiful you are!” God said to her as He embraced her.
They approached the tree of knowledge and looking at it, the girl asked, “Why did the creature for whom you created this whole green garden full of plants, flowers, fresh and limpid water want to experience the arid desert, where there is no water or life?”
“Because she did not trust me,” answered the One who was next to her. His voice was a breath of wind.
The girl was shocked by the answer: “So who, if not a father, would she trust?”
“A cunning thing that tells lies… and who is envious and restless, ready to kill. Ever since expulsed him from the garden, he wanders in the desert beyond the tree life. He will never be able to enjoy what is here again. His thirst will be unquenchable.”
“But why convince others to do the same thing?”
“Out of envy. If he could not have all this anymore,” He explained, spreading His arms to indicate everything around them and then closing them around the girl, “then nobody else must have it.”
“But why? You said he once was good … how can he now want to do evil to your most beautiful creatures that are so much like You?”
“If you move away from the spring, how can you continue to draw water? You know that I am Love. If you move away from me, how can you continue to love? He no longer loves, because he has rejected me. He excluded me from himself. Now that he has broken the bond of love that created him, he no longer feels any joy, no satisfaction. Now, to satisfy that thirst that torments him, he only desires to possess. This is the opposite of love. He wants everything, because without love he has only nothingness.”
Saying this, He bent over the reddish dirt and took a little in His hands. Closing His fist, He said, “Look. If you grasp the dust in your hands it escapes you … you cannot hold it in.” Then, taking some more of the dirt, He spat on it and worked it skillfully between His fingers. “But if you mix it with my love, then it lets itself be taken and molded.” He molded a beautiful sculpture of a flower and handed it to the girl.
Taking it in her hand, the flower sculpture became a beautiful rose “It’s beautiful… like every work of Your hands” she told Him looking at him with awe.
“My dear daughter, you did not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.” His tone had become serious. “Therefore, for you, the evil you will see will be inconceivable. This is why your sufferings will be even worse than those of Adam and Eve.”
The girl looked at Him: “Do with me what you did with this dirt … I want to be dust in Your hands, kneaded in Your love.”
The girl passed by the tree of life and felt a chill, but she did not turn around. Without fear, she crossed the flame and the angels that guarded that precious plant. If anyone tried to eat the fruit of the tree of life to possess it, he would be dead forever. God did not want any of His creatures to end up the same way as the separated angel. Because of this, He had stationed powerful guards around the tree. Those who had experienced evil by eating the fruit of the tree did not have to always experience evil and did not have to be a slave of it forever.
God, however, did not forget how those children He had created with His own hands and who had denied Him as their Creator, trusted an inferior and treacherous being. Since then they had hidden themselves from Him and they could no longer be in His gaze. Their eyes were “opened”, as the deceiving being had insinuated, but now they could no longer see Him. It was time to re-embrace them. There was only one way to do it: start all over. Repeat the creation. But this time, it would have to be different. He could not blot out the experience of evil that by their choice had entered their heart and made them ill. Still, the disease had been unable to blot out the mark that He had left in their hearts on the sixth day of Creation. This time He would send His Son. He Himself would become the tree of life, planted in their midst. The Spirit from the beginning which had hovered over the abyss, now would enter the desert which lay beyond the garden. Whoever would believe in Him, would receive the purifying fire and could eat of the tree of life and their heart would be healed. So, finally, they would no longer have to hide from Him, who was waiting for them like a father in agony for his children. They could recognize Him and see Him walk next to them in the garden. As before, He would not force them: they would have to choose.
“I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord your God, heeding His voice, and holding fast to Him. For He is your life and your longevity, so that you may live in the land that the Lord has sworn to give to your fathers … ” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
The Mother and the Son would do everything to help them, to show them the way home and to bring them back when they lost the way. The Spirit would write the Truth in their hearts, giving them the ability to distinguish good from evil.
“Behold, I am coming soon,” He said, looking at the girl who was walking away. (Revelation 22:20)
“Look, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; And suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord, whom you seek,the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, Yes, he is coming” (Malachi 3:1).
The Spirit enveloped her with an intense, shining light. The girl, immediately after leaving the garden, found herself in a forest of brambles. It was a bleak place: only thorns with their grayness, no leaves, no color. She hugged her womb, as if to protect someone. Under her pure heart, the girl carried a child. The thorns were so thick, that she could not avoid them, but as she passed through the gray and needle-filled forest, it turned into a rose garden. No thorn pierced her. The child had protected her again. At the bottom of that barbed tunnel, darkness began. The girl did not stop and, entering in the darkness, tore it open.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:1).
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).