In January I stayed on the 17th floor of a hotel. Perhaps if my stay had been short, I would have missed it.  There, juxtaposed near each other, Eden Lost and Eden Regained. That pool and stinky canal have become the perfect image for me of this tension between loss and hope: messy, intertwined, confusing, and encouraging all at once.

Eden was lost, true. That we cannot deny or miss.

But we are not abandoned in this state. That I cannot deny, but sadly often miss.

This life of faith is like learning to dance. At my gym I attend several dance classes: Zumba, folk dance and one that is translated as “Jazz” but I call “Cool-boy-pop-dance.” The teachers are fluid and good with their bodies. They make it look easy. I believe them and follow their moves. I believe them until I look in the mirror and wonder how something so graceful and lovely can be translated into something so awkward.

Often I laugh. I’m not there to become a professional dancer but to get my heart rate up. So what if I look like a bull in a china shop? It’s all good fun.

Yet, this life of faith is like learning to dance. Our native tongue was to be that of Eden, but it was swapped for the language of Eden lost. I see Jesus’ example and the way he deals with people, so graceful and lovely and I believe I can follow his model. I believe until I look in the mirror and see and hear my awkwardness.

Signs in poor English have become triggers for me. In them I see a reflection of how I can sound as I’m learning to respeak my native tongue.

This sign is on the inside door of a hotel room I stay; I see it every time I visit and it makes me sad such a sign is necessary. Prostitute, abuse drugs, gamble.

It reeks of Eden lost. It’s easy to look at this sign and think, no problem. I don’t do those things.

Really?

Look again.

Relationships, Escape, and Money.

Well, when it’s translated like that, it hits so close to home I’m nearly knocked out. In Eden we were supposed to relate to God and others in deep, rich ways that fostered connection. How often do I prostitute a relationship and used someone for my own gain?

Eden was to be a land of pleasure and joy! How often have I used food, anger, the internet, sports, or reading in ways that resembled abusing a drug?

Eden didn’t have money, but I think there are ways to use money that can hint at what might have been in Eden. And ways to use it that are as off the mark as some of my Zumba moves. We talk of calculated risk, and to be sure, that exists (and would have in Eden too). We don’t speak often enough of the great lie credit cards want us to believe. Call it what you may, it’s closer to gambling than we think.

When I stop watching Amy-in-the-mirror and instead listen to the music and keep my eyes on the teacher, my moves may still be awkward. True. But maybe, just maybe, I’m dancing more how I will in Eden Regained.

Today, listen for your true heart language, keep your eyes on Jesus and speak as one from Eden. Speak not the language of prostitution, using drugs and gambling but of relationships, pleasure, and money. Speak the language of Eden.

Which of these three do you find yourself most likely to speak “Eden lost?”

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Leave A Comment

  1. TC Avey April 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    When you put it like this- Relationships, Escape, and Money- it can really hit home. Thanks for this powerful message!

    • Amy April 26, 2012 at 5:34 am - Reply

      I know, it sure can!

  2. Alicia@the OVerflow April 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Wow! You nailed it when you “rewrote” that sign for me. I “met you” at Amy Sullivan’s blog today and am inspired by your wrestling match, your honesty, and your desire to serve God well. Thanks for inviting me to wrestle, too. Love the ways Jesus connects His children here in this out-of-Eden world. WIll be pondering how to reclaim my native tongue today!

    • Amy April 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      Alicia, thanks for popping over from Amy’s blog!

  3. LeAnne Parham May 12, 2012 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Oh honey, never ever ever look in a mirror during an exercise class. It’s just better not to know! The mental picture had me cracking up (no offense, my awkward self was groovin’ right next to you!) until I read your sign re-word. Ouch. But the same good kind of ouch as a few sore muscles after before-mentioned exercise class ….

  4. Rich August 19, 2012 at 1:12 am - Reply

    What powerful imagery, Amy!! Thanks!

    The lens by which we see the world around us is critical. Because we live in Eden lost, we see things that way, and even expected it. But Eden Lost has a way of hiding the painful truth about ourselves. Only as God retranslates his Law into the mirror that shows us what we are like in Eden lost, can God show us the wonders and beauty of Eden regained in Christ.

    So, the challenge is now we begin to look at others, not as they see themselves, not as the world sees them, but as God sees them in Eden lost… who desperately need God’s word of grace to bring them Eden regained. We see them as we saw ourselves. And that allows God’s heart of compassion to be our heart.

    Wow, Amy. This is such good stuff. Hey, even some sermon material!!!

    God’s continued rich blessings in Christ as you live in Eden lost but with a heart in Eden regained.

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