“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day...” Genesis 3:8a
Watching someone try food for the first time is pretty cool. My husband seemed legit disappointed when she didn’t like avocado. (He jokingly said: “What kind of Latina doesn’t like aguacate??”) I am perplexed by her unabashed love of carrots. Regardless of her taste, this exploration into the world of solids has been full of wonder and delight for both Edwin and me. We are in the heart of purée territory these days, and because the internet makes you afraid of everything, I’ve been making my own baby food.
It’s pretty simple, actually, and I’m enjoying it. This is the first time I’ve gotten a glimpse of how people could love gardening. You can imagine my shock when I (a true southerner) steamed some sweet potatoes and threw them in the food processor (no butter, no cinnamon, no marshmallows, no sugar) and they came out tasting like candy. (Someone should tell Paula Dean.)
To think that that delicousness came from the ground!
I’ve often thought about the first person who discovered we could eat certain foods—I am thankful for their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. To grab a giant root looking thing or a potentially poisonous berry and think, “Hmm, looks delicious! Let’s try it!”—that’s thinking like an artist.
When I’m making food for baby Eva, just like when I’m making music, I feel like I’m collaborating with the divine.
It suddenly seems like a miracle that something so sweet and nutritious could exist, and not just exist, but hold essential nutrients for our thriving. This is, I think, one of the reasons why people love diets like Whole 30 and Paleo. There’s a joy I’m finding in being connected to the food’s source, and shockingly, it feels similar to the joy of being connected to our Life Source. I’ve shared some of my complex feelings about food, so for me this is progress.
The delight I’ve found in connecting to the earth reminded me of the above verse from Genesis. When I came upon it again this week, I had a realization:
God’s connection to creation is one of participation.
The verse doesn’t say God walked in the garden everyday, but it left me wondering if God might have made it a habit. And why the “cool of the day”? What was the “sound of the Lord God walking”? Whatever the answers, it seemed that the God of this verse was more than a omnipresent divinity who had made the world and ruled over it. This God seemed intent on being among us, not above us.
A Hebrew Interlinear resource helped me explore some of my questions about it. I learned “sound” is often translated to mean “voice,” so it could say “they heard God’s voice.” And—the most interesting thing to me—the phrase “the cool of the day” uses the same word (spirit/breath/wind) from Genesis 1:2—“And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” So it could mean: they heard God’s voice in the wind or breeze.
I like to think that God had made a habit of walking there, and like a fragrance permeating a space, God’s voice was carried by the wind throughout the garden. Suddenly, there I go again, picturing Jesus. I have a habit of doing that whenever God takes on human form in the Hebrew Scriptures. When Jacob wrestles with God (Genesis 32), when the mystery man appears in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), at creation (Genesis 1, John 1)...I love imagining that human form to be the Christ, in history all along, waiting, even still, to be fully known. So, here in Genesis, I imagine Jesus coming to delight in a daily paseíto in this beautiful garden creation with Adam and Eve (add them to the list of beautiful things that came from the ground), and together they enjoy the breeze, that is God’s voice, rustling through the trees.
With this image, we see a God who’s not afraid to get dirt under fingernails, who enjoys creation right along side us, watching us taste and see all the mysterious and magnificent things within it.
I wonder if Jesus was thinking about these things when he was in that other garden, Gethsemane.
Was it one of those nights with no wind at all?
Just like I’m enjoying getting a front row seat to see my daughter explore all this world has it offer, I believe our God delights in our delight (Zephaniah 3:17.) That from the garden of Eden to Gethsemane and back, God cares about this place. So much so, he came to live among us, to begin the work of repairing and restoring all that we and this creation were made to be. From the sweetest potato to the perfect aguacate, one day we’ll enjoy the fruits of God’s creation together in peace, while the wind of God’s Spirit sets our hair to dancing.