The Cool Evening Breeze
Ever since I read of Adam’s encounter with God ‘In the cool of the evening breeze’, I’ve always wondered whether there was more to this than meets the eye. With Genesis generally, I think we can be allowed a little ‘licence’ when interpreting the accounts of our Creator. But what if this encounter was literally what was written? Were Adam’s encounters with his Creator just that – a cool evening breeze? As I start this journey of faith through contemplative prayer, I feel there is some merit in this account. When prayer moves beyond the spoken word into a simple realisation of the presence of God, then being washed over by a cool breeze starts to make sense. So, is the Genesis account something more? Is this the original blueprint for our relationship with the Creator? A simple breeze gently washing over us. At this point I am tempted to extrapolate this theme. Genesis goes on to show how this relationship was broken, but in many ways, this relationship continues to be actively broken all the way through the Bible despite our Creator’s efforts to restore it. The final straw is the death of the Christ on the cross, even though moments before He still reaches out His hand to those present: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”, and to the thief, “today you will be with me in paradise”. But it was through this sacrifice that the relationship is restored. How it is restored through the death of an innocent man? That remains a mystery in the true sense. Within our faith there are great mysteries to be contemplated but, I like to think, never quite understood.
Without mystery there would be no faith!
So how is this relationship restored? For me there are three more mysteries that follow.
The Resurrection. I am always harping on about “thin places”, places where the boundaries between the earthly and spiritual realms are narrow. As a “thin place” fan, the resurrection is the zenith of all “thinness” in the universe. The place is probably the thinnest that there ever has been. Jesus actually hints at it, when He says, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father”.
The Ascension. Here the barriers are finally broken. The realm of the all things created on earth and the realm of the Spirit are finally joined as the Christ passes from one realm to the other.
The Pentecost. This is the final moment of reconciliation. Now the relationship, or at least the potential relationship, is fully restored. Man can now communicate with God in the same manner as that described in Genesis 1. If this wasn’t enough proof, the breeze returns as the writer in Acts 2 describes the sound of a mighty wind blowing through the room in which the disciples had gathered.