If you learned about Eden in Sunday school, with poster board and flannel graphs, you missed something. Imagine the most beautiful scenes you have ever known on this earth—rain forests, the prairie in full bloom, storm clouds over the African savanna, the Alps under a winter snow. Then imagine it all on the day it was born.
It’s Tolkien’s Shire in its innocence, Iguazu Falls in the garden of The Mission, the opening scene of The Lion King.
And it doesn’t stop there.
Into this world God opens his hand, and the animals spring forth. Myriads of birds, in every shape and size and song, take wing—hawks, herons, warblers. All the creatures of the sea leap into it—whales, dolphins, fish of a thousand colors and designs. Thundering across the plains race immense herds of horses, gazelles, buffalo, running like the wind. It is more astonishing than we could possibly imagine. No wonder “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). A great hurrah goes up from the heavens!
We have grown dull toward this world in which we live; we have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific in any sense of the word. It is fantastic. It is fairy tale through and through. Really now. Elephants? Caterpillars? Snow? At what point did you lose your wonder at it all?
Even so, once in a while something will come along and shock us right out of our dullness and resignation.
We come round a corner, and there before us is a cricket, a peacock, a stag with horns as big as he. Perhaps we come upon a waterfall, the clouds have made a rainbow in a circle round the sun, or a mouse scampers across the counter, pauses for a moment to twitch its whiskers, and disappears into the cupboard. And for a moment we realize that we were born into a world as astonishing as any fairy tale.
A world made for romance.