Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.
The thing to remember about Eden is that it was an intimate place. There was no division between God, the Creator, and man, the creature He created. There was no division between the man and the woman; they lived intimately. And the first man and first woman were one with their environment. It was the perfect place for them to worship God and enjoy His blessings. But paradise was lost, and when that happened, mankind lost the intimacy that God created us for; we have yearned to recover ever since.
As a child, my own little corner of paradise was a lake in New Hampshire that I lived on every July for three years. When I think of that place, the memory in my heart takes me instantly back, and there I am on my cot in a small cabin on the lake’s shore. Outside, moths and other insects, drawn by the light of my reading lamp, buzz against the screened windows. I can smell the scent of pine that permeates the soft summer evening air. And behind the nocturnal sounds of crickets and frogs, I hear the rhythmic lapping of gentle waves as they softly touch the rocks near where I am resting my head.
And I remember how, early in the morning, my father would invite his boys to join him on a walk up Bean road to a small local farm. As we walked along the road, we could feel a mountain chill in the air, and we could see the mist suspended like a blanket above the green fields. The farm itself rested between the road and the lower reaches of Red Hill, and so we gathered up some strawberries or raspberries and thick heavy cream to take back to our cottage for the family breakfast.
Of course, in this idealized setting, I suffered the normal worldly intrusions of fights, skinned knees, hurt feelings, and the rest, but as I now think back to my time on that lake in New Hampshire, I am reminded that the intimacy I experienced there is but a shadow of the intimacy that God wants to experience with all of His children.
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts