Some in this world believe fiction is better than reality. Isn’t that problematic for Christians in a number of ways? (Responding to that hypothesis could be another essay in the group project applying a theological understanding regarding fiction!) And, are we ready to leave the actual creativity of God’s beauty in this world out of the picture? Maybe I’m overly speculating, but let’s consider how beautiful the Garden of Eden may (easily) have been before the fall.
Beautiful trees grow perfectly spaced according to kind and need. Birds sing and play with no reason for avoidance or to fly away toward nicer weather. The leaves are colors myriad, because every potential is ripe and there is no such thing as the verge of death or approach of wintry sting.
Mountains rise in the distance. As far as I can imagine, skiing is still a possibility—though presumably Adam and Eve would need to invent clothes and shoes just for the fun and pleasure of it. Sunsets and sunrises mark perfect days, and the garden is always in season, thriving, excelling, and serving in beautiful perfection.
Adam and Eve could talk and share ideas in perfect harmony with a vast range of positive possibility before them. Would they paint after tending the garden? Mold clay? Invent bread? Test herbs? Compare pieces of peace, orange, and pomegranate? Discover America? Swim with orcas?
Every benefit of winter, spring, summer, and autumn: every beauty, every combination, and moving combinations, loyal beasts, frisky bursts of joyful exuberance. Quiet and calm. Teaching, meditation, and so, so much thankfulness.
I doubt an artist now can do justice to the Garden of Eden. So many things thrown away without a thought toward them. The entrance of disorder and decay into an otherwise seamless world of cosmic perfection.
I don’t mean to overly speculate. At the same time, why not imagine what will be again? Life without death, land without weed, man without sin?
Without mortality, could Adam have swum into the deepest of depths? Would he have delighted in new, budding communities of coral?
Was any good or beautiful thing withheld? No. Only knowledge of evil and the staggering gap between it and goodness.
What do you think?