“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” – Gen. 2:15
When it comes to the story of creation in Genesis, we Evangelicals are very fond of the creation of marriage with Adam and Eve, and even in discussing the theology of losing paradise in Eden. But how often do we honestly consider that Eden was a garden to be kept, and that therefore paradise once consisted in fostering growth and life out of the Earth?
When I moved here recently, I had very little furniture. That actually hasn’t changed. But I left a piece of shelving – very nice, rose-cherry wood shelving – because I didn’t believe I had any use for it.
Then I had a chat with an old friend from my hometown. She has been gardening indoors since she was a child, and I found this intriguing. My mom had geraniums outside, at the most. My dad has made a life-goal out of tilling his own rather large individual garden in a mountain community. And I’ve heard of “herb gardening” on a single windowsill. But this friend of mine talked of plants, and fruits or vegetables… and shelving.
Then I noticed the completely blank wall in the dining area, with plenty of sunlight and plenty of tile underneath to keep from messing the brand new carpet. I could easily put three shelving units along that wall. And I want to garden.
I am excited to see what I can do with the space God has blessed me with. But it’s a good encouragement to all of us to see where we can really “start small” or “start with oneself” and make our homes as literally green as possible. How enlivening to see God display his work in front of you, every day? How enriching to take personal value in that growth and sustenance for your own part of “Home-Ecology”? How comforting to know that you are doing your part to help the world stay healthy, and to know that you are keeping yourself healthy in return?
How restorative to embrace God’s intent for us, to till what remains of Eden.