This is an open letter to Eve (last name unknown), the first woman created by God, wife of Adam.
What was it like?
What was it like to live in a perfect world, a garden paradise? Did you have a house, or did you and your husband sleep outdoors under the stars?
That was before rain, so you never had to worry about getting wet, and I suppose it didn’t snow either, or get too hot or too cold. So, maybe you didn’t need a house. You certainly didn’t need closets since you didn’t wear clothes.
What was that like? What was it like to be naked all the time, and not just naked, but naked and unashamed? In the world I live in, nakedness almost always coexists with shame. That’s why we have closets, to stash our shameful feelings away, to hide them from others, even from those we love.
What was it like to not feel shame? When you and your husband walked openly with one another and with God — what was it like to walk with God every night in the garden? What did you talk about?
What did you and Adam talk about? What was it like to be married to someone and never be angry or jealous or sneaky or deceitful?
When the serpent tricked you, when he caused you to question the wisdom of God to restrict you from eating from that one tree in the garden, did you fight the temptation? Had you ever been tempted to disobey before that?
When you gave the fruit to Adam to eat — and he did — and then when you and he hid from God and when God later found you and then Adam blamed you, what was it like to have your husband throw you under the bus (as we say in the 21st century)?
Whose idea was it to sew clothing out of fig leaves? Who first realized you were both naked? What was it like to go from never knowing shame to being filled with it? Were you also angry? Sad?
Did you and Adam fight when God kicked you out of the garden? Did you cry? Did you comfort one another, or did you sleep apart for a night or two?
Even though you sinned, did God comfort you?
When you gave birth to your first son, Cain, and it hurt as God said it would, had you felt pain before that? As you got older, as you got wrinkles and flabby arms and gray hair, as your body started breaking down, did you associate it with your sin back in the garden?
Eve, this might bring up painful memories, but what was it like when your son Cain killed your son Abel? Had you seen death before that time?
Animals had died — God killed one to clothe you and Adam with its skin, foretelling the concept of blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. But Abel wasn’t an animal; he was your son.
When you saw his lifeless body, did you understand that he was never coming back? Again, did you relate his death to your sin in the garden? Did you feel your own distant guilt? What was that like? When you wailed with grief, did you also wail with regret and remorse?
Did you plead with God for a do-over, to go back to the garden and start over again? Or did you look forward? Did you remember God’s words as he cursed the serpent and promised you, Eve, that your seed would one day crush the serpent’s head? (Did you understand what he meant — that he was promising to send Jesus to fix all that you messed up?)
Eve, because of you (and Adam, too), life is difficult and painful. It has its good moments, but they don’t last. However, it would be wrong of me to put all the blame on you, because I, too, would’ve eaten the fruit, only I would’ve made it into a pie and served it a la mode.
I just wanted you to know, and I look forward to meeting you in heaven one day.
P.S. Tell Jesus I said hi.