Touching Eden

Trinity Church’s Girlfriends 2017 Conference begins on January 13, 2017. The theme this year is “Eden.” During this conference, I hope to inspire women to embrace the natural world around them.

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.”~ ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived on the Earth God created as God created it. Everything they needed to sustain life was in the Garden. Every animal, plant, and insect in the Garden was capable of reproducing itself. Adam and Eve’s relationship to the Garden and everything in it was personal. Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was personal. God walked and talked with them in the Garden in the “cool of the day”. I imagine Adam and Eve living in this environment physically, emotionally, and spiritually whole.

“And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” ~ Genesis‬ ‭1:30-31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sadly, when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, their lives radically changed. They had to toil and sweat to get what used to be available naturally. Nature became something to wrestle with, to struggle with, and to fear. Their relationship with God was no longer personal either. Their disconnection from the relationships they had in the Garden continue to be reflected in us today. We struggle to live in harmony with the natural world. We struggle for physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness.

“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”” ~ ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:17-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Today, many of us live a frenetic, urban lifestyle within a controlled urban environment. We control the natural environment so nature won’t interfere or prevent us doing what we want to do. We control the natural environment with pesticides, herbicides, lawn and landscaping services, and careful urban planning. In some cases, we re-engineer it with GMOs. We attempt to convince ourselves we don’t need the things that God designed for us to co-exist with. Yet, I believe these are the things, in many cases, we desperately need. For instance, we desperately need honeybees. Honeybees and other pollinators facilitate the production of 30% of our food supply.

So, what should we do? I believe part of the answer is for each one of us to take action. My actions now include the Eco-farming project with Cambodian Care Ministries
and urban gardening/urban beekeeping here at home. For me, these projects make me feel like I am touching Eden.

This idea of touching Eden first came to my mind on while I was in Cambodia for the first time in 2013.  This trip reignited my passion for the environment and made me think about how we have drifted so far away from living in collaboration with the rest of God’s creation. The 2014 Cambodia Biogas Digester Project was the beginning of my journey into eco-farming, urban gardening, and now beekeeping.  I believe the value of urban gardening extends beyond the production of local fruit and vegetables, beyond environmental conservation, and into our spiritual and emotional well-being.

To learn more, join me at Trinity Church’s Girlfriends Conference 2017. Register here: Girlfriends Conference 2017







(Photo credits: Mike Bien-Aime and Michele Lozano, Trinity Urban Garden, Miami, Florida, December 2016.)

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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