It’s been a busy week in the Siverns house. Our newest member, Asher Miles, arrived last Friday. He’s great, though he doesn’t really understand the concept of sleeping during the night yet. Such is life. I’ve had the chance to spend a bit more time at home helping out with the almost-two-year-old Clara and just trying to support Rachel and make sure everything goes well. The weather’s been pretty good, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the back yard as that is Clara’s favourite place. Instead of just watching her I thought I’d try to be productive and pull some weeks.
That was a terrible idea. First, I quickly realized that most of my yard is weeks. Seriously. I’ve completely filled one of the large brown paper yard waste bags with dandelions. The amazing thing is that there are more… tons more. I think I’m going to keep at it as I’d like my yard to be a bit nicer, but it’s just crazy how they multiply and spring out of nowhere. Some of them look like carrots – small tops but roots that go down 8″ and are at least a half inch around at the surface. For the past few days every time I’ve closed my eyes I’ve had visions of dandelions.
Somewhere in the midst of pulling another handful of weeds I got thinking about the fall and the curse. Genesis 3, that crafty serpent and the effects of eating the wrong piece of fruit. I’ve feel like I’ve experienced a number of those consequences this week and I actually think we all face them daily, but don’t often think about them.
Obviously the ‘pain during childbirth’ was seen. Asher was a pretty quick baby and Rachel did an awesome job and didn’t have any drugs of any kind. She was in pain. I won’t go into details, but there was at least as much of a feeling of ‘this just isn’t right’ as there was ‘this is such a miracle!’. Asher came out with the cord around his neck needed oxygen when he arrived. Everyone was pretty calm and everyone did a great job, but it was clear as Rachel and I reflected on it that things could have gone badly quickly. While most women survive childbirth, it’s clearly not quite right.
I was then thinking about the curse that God gave to Adam and the ground. It talked about weeds and thorns and how you need to toil to produce food. Truth be told, I’m not growing anything edible in my lawn, and that’s a good thing because I think my family would starve if I was. Dandelions grow like champs. Grass does not. Being a city guy, I can’t really imagine being a farmer, but I do understand why we as people have developed complex (and highly debated at times) ways of getting crops to grow. The earth just doesn’t cooperate unless you put a lot of work into it.
We have managed to minimize some of those effects pretty well – it’s much more rare that women in the developed world die from childbirth and most of us can just go to the grocery story to buy the food we need. We may ‘toil’ at our respective jobs to get the money to buy that food, but I think we try to hide from the curse as much as we can. I also think the curse went well beyond dandelions and child birth – I won’t even get into how the last part of verse 16 permeates our relationships and culture.
By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this – and here it comes. I think we need to remember that we live in a world with the curse. We as Christians in the church can so often forget what it’s like to be without hope. I know so many people right now suffering through various consequences of this fallen broken world – sickness, death and decay in all of it’s forms. It’s too easy for me to go about my day caring about my comfort and battling my various consequences of the fall without realizing that there are tons of people who don’t have a worldview where they know why anything bad happens. Let’s remind ourselves not only of the beginning, but of the end and of the kingdom that is coming. We’ve been commanded to go and make disciples – disciples who have a hope of a world without the curse (or dandelions). That’s great news. Let’s share it.