Maybe it’s because I recently re-watched the final season of LOST. Maybe it’s because I keep going back to the Book of Genesis and rereading the Creation Story and the Fall over and over again. Maybe it’s because I recently have been revisiting my own spiritual reawakening, making peace with what led up to it and with the me of who I was before this reawakening.
Whatever the reason, I have found myself thinking about Eden a lot. Especially in terms of how the Biblical Eden relates to the false Edens we construct around ourselves.
Our hearts and minds finally connect and “get” the need for salvation when we understand and accept that our lives are NOT in Eden; when we understand and accept that everything in our lives is not perfect, and that not all our needs are met. We may try (and God knows, we do try) to act as if everything is perfect, and that we have everything we need. We have money. Power. Prestige. Respect. The right everything: car, family, friends, social circle, house, home A/V system, clothes – you name it.
But eventually, we eat of the fruit that opens our eyes. And at that point, in that instant we realize that the Paradise we thought we were in is instead Wilderness.
For me, my fruit was a mirror. A literal mirror that one day I looked into and I finally had to accept the fact that the person in the reflection was not who I wanted to see. Oh sure – the outside looked great (please; like there was ever a doubt), but for the first time in a long time, on that day I looked deeper. I saw things reflected that were not as easily detectable to someone looking at me. I took a look in me.
And man – did I find some Wilderness there. Barren. “Scorched Earth,” to be exact. I had allowed everything to be burned down, and I was guilty of throwing some Molotov Cocktails at my own heart.
It’s been said that the Fall of man was in some ways “a heart-level betrayal between committed friends: between God and man. At issue in the tragedy of the garden is a relational crime.” For me, it was a failed relationship that led to me failing my relationship with God. I chose to start calling my wilderness a paradise instead of seeing it for the all-too-populated-with-snakes danger zone that it was. I continually and intentionally turned as far and as fast as I could from the Voice calling out to me. I didn’t necessarily hide because I was ashamed of being naked; I hid because I just didn’t want to answer Him, because in doing so, I would have had to face the questions that I had been avoiding.
One of the best, most striking visuals used in a number of episodes of LOST was an extreme close-up on a character’s eye as they woke up. One of the most heart-wrenching moments in the series finale (SPOILER ALERT) was when the characters began to wake up from the false, “perfect” reality they had constructed for themselves. They may have been living in the reality that they thought was everything they ever wanted, but something happened to cause them to become aware of the Eden awaiting them.
Love, between individuals, sparked an awakening.
And eyes were opened.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I connected with the stories on this show as much as I did (other than the fact that every freaking character on the show had father issues): they were broken and flawed, and in need of an awakening.
And into Eden. The Eden they were meant to live in.