Poisonous Trees, Poisonous Apples and Heaven On Earth

one applephoto © 2008 Ginny | more info (via: Wylio)
The other day Cade and I were sitting in the living room. You never know what this kid is thinking about, or what he might say next.

Out of no where he turned to me with a concerned look on his face, as if a troublesome thought was stuck in his little head. Usually this means some apparent paradox is trying to work its way to resolution.

“What’s wrong, buddy?” I asked.

“Dad,” he asked slowly. “Why did God make that poisonous tree with the poisonous apples so that everybody would get hurt and scared?”

I think any parent likes to see their child connecting the dots, but there was something about this question that made me want to sigh, to pull him up into my lap and rock him to sleep.

“That’s a good question,” I said. “Why do you think he made it?”

“I don’t know,” he said. Then after a long pause he said, “But if he hadn’t made that tree, it sure would be heaven down here.”

His voice was filled with the most tremendous sense of regret, as if he somehow appreciated how different our world would be if heaven was here, if there had never been any poisonous apples to wrench earth from the grasp of paradise.

* * * * *

What can we do in the face of such tremendous regret?

This longing for things to be better, for peace, for a world without poisonous apples…I want to cultivate this in my son, in all of my children. During a time when cynicism and sarcasm and pessimism are the acceptable tones, the common language, I want him to find hope. To give hope.

I want to teach him to pray with sincerity, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

* * * * *

For more posts like this, check out “Stuff Cade Says”

7 Replies to “Poisonous Trees, Poisonous Apples and Heaven On Earth”

  1. I’ve personally come to realize that I need to see “the Fall” as the greatest tragedy of my life, and my story. It looks like your son realized this tragedy as well. It is at this point where we begin to fully understand our need for a Savior – and rest fully in our hope found in the Gospel.

    Great post! If only we all had faith like a child.

  2. Hmm … good question.

    With personal regret … I’ve discovered that since I can’t change the past and the future is unknown. The best thing to do is live fully in the moment, so that when I look back, I won’t have more regrets … so how can that be translated to help the regret Cade (and all of us) feels?

  3. So simple, so profound. I agree with Janet that we certainly can’t change the past (although I think about it too much sometimes), and only God knows what the future will bring.

    Heard an interesting sermon a couple weeks ago about Heaven, and yes, we pray for God’s will to be done on Earth, but are we ready for that? Can we live with what that might mean?

    We are taught to have “no regrets”. I have some pretty huge ones, but maybe what I’m supposed to be working on is how to learn and grow from them.

  4. Kids are so amazing. I love how direct and perceptive they can be. My son never ceases to make me think when he asks questions like this. We can learn so much from them.

  5. It’s important to remember that everything God created was good in that garden. Even that tree had a good purpose as did the tree of life. The flaw was not in the tree, but in the people who failed to adhere to that good purpose. Once they had taken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it was the tree of life that was now dangerous which is why they needed to be removed from the garden.

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