Today I find myself perusing the pages of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Several of my friends have recommended this book, and I’m finally getting a chance to read it. Suddenly, 16 pages in, I am floored by Voskamp’s words. She is writing about the Garden of Eden, about the Fall of Man, about our world since humanity first fell. And her words are heavy.
“Do we ever think of this busted-up place as the result of us ingrates, unsatisfied, we who punctured it all with a bite? The fruit’s poison has infected the whole of humanity.”
Even more, it has infected the whole of creation. What a convicting thought! When I stumbled across these words, I felt a different puncturing–not the fatal stabbing of a sword or the venom of a snake bite. Instead, I felt something puncture my heart, more like the sting of a vaccine or the pull of stitches. This jolt only magnified the import of what Voskamp was describing.
After all, we are the fools who decided God was not enough for us. We were the ones who imparted that stabbing puncture on the world. The ground is cursed because of man. The world itself is broken because we could not be satisfied with perfection. We wanted more. Not only did Eve’s bite–and then Adam’s–deflate their innocence, but it also shattered the world they lived in. And every time we repeat their sin, every moment we give into our flesh, every chance we take to live our way, we leave another gaping wound in our lives, in the lives of those around us–present and future–and in the very earth we live on.
But that is not the only type of puncturing this world has seen.
Instead, this world can attest to Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ and Son of God, who came into this world to die and rise, to save us from our sins and give us new life. So we feel the agony of our sin, but we also feel the ache when it is lifted from our shoulders and placed on the cross. We cry as the death blow is given to our Savior and to our sin. Yet we rejoice when the sickness is cured, when the stitches have healed, when our LORD rises from the grave and offers us new life.
Certainly we have “punctured it all with a bite,” as Voskamp writes. We so thoroughly despised God’s perfection that God’s plan to reverse our curse was to send God’s only Son to die on a cross and have His flesh punctured–His wrists, His feet, His side. All to save us. It’s a humbling, sobering thought. But it’s also a marvelous, beautiful thought. The God of the universe saw fit to sacrifice everything to reverse our well-deserved curse. All to love us.