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Was it Worth It?  

For the past few months, my wife and I have made regular visits to an old man who is slowly dying.  He has a brilliant mind, has ministered to countless people.  Yet his deterioration is rapid and irreversible. 

Some would say, “That’s to be expected.”  But the idealist in me asks, “Why?”  Why did it have to be this way?  And of course, the answer takes me back to the Garden of Eden. In my sanctified imagination, I envision a conversation with Adam and Eve.

I see Adam, once a chiseled, muscular outdoorsman with big hands and barrel chest—now shriveled up in a pile on a straw mat.  His saggy skin looks brittle stretched over his toothpick arms.  He is in too much pain even to sit.

Not far away, leaning against a rock, is the once elegant Eve—the girl whose mere appearance sucked the breath out of Adam.  Her back is decidedly humped, her eyes sunken and nearly sightless.  Leather knees poke out from under her worn fur.

One question is all I ask the first couple.  “Was it worth it?”  Was it really worth it, back so many years ago in Eden, to listen to the voice of the deceiver?  Was it worth it?  Look at all you traded away…for this?”

Just then a mist completely enshrouds the ancient pair and when it lifts, I am no longer in the presence of Adam and Eve…but their Maker instead.

And Jesus, with hands yet wounded, extends a scarred palm in my direction and barely whispers just one question: “And you….was it worth it?”

Instinctively, I cover my face, and bow low to the ground.  The sin I’ve cradled in my hands and coddled in my heart.  It hasn’t been worth it.  None of it.

To interrogate Adam and Eve…is to ask myself the most awful of questions.

Still….looking at my old friend dying a slow death, I wonder.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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