Back to the Garden in a Mini
Last Wednesday morning at 5 a.m. my wife, Kelli, drove us to work in the Mini Cooper. The sky was still dark, and I was reading the Bible out loud to her by the overhead light.
We were preparing to teach at a marriage retreat, so we had recently read about the perfect marriage in Genesis 1 and 2. Marriage by God’s original design. Perfectly complimentary. Completely vulnerable.
We had also studied Genesis chapter 3. And we were reminded how human disobedience brought anguish and toil to their tasks. We looked again at our tendency to hide from one another and hurl bitter accusations when we feel shame.
“Is there any way back to the garden?” we wondered. “Or is life all blistered hands and aching feet and earning enough money to pay next month’s rent?”
Last Wednesday morning, we flipped forward to the Song of Songs. There we see a reclamation of Paradise Lost. We see the passionate joy of marriage rediscovered. How do they get there? Those lovers of old.
First, they take risks. They are vulnerable. And they delight in the love of their life. The woman rushes to a secret garden—a place where she and her lover can share deeply. The man and woman reveal their hopes and fears; they disclose their inmost thoughts and feelings. With no inhibitions, they engage in playful antics which delight them and take their breath away.
I’ve decided that our morning commutes in our Mini are an opportunity for Kelli and me to return to the Garden. We can take more risks. We can share more of our emotions and fears—about our children and our finances and the challenges we face. We can reassure each other about the future and replay shared memories from the past. We even enjoy one another. We can joke. We can dream.
So our trips in the Mini are also trips to the garden. However, not a lush botanical arboretum. Rather, a return to the Father’s heart through the open heart of a lover.