He placed one scoop of clay upon another until a form lay lifeless on the ground.
All of the Garden's inhabitants paused to witness
the event. Hawks hovered. Giraffes stretched.
Trees bowed. Butterflies paused on petals and watched.
"You will love me, nature," God said. "I made you
that way. You will obey me, universe. For you
were designed to do so. You will reflect my glory, skies, for that is how you were created. But this
one will be like me. This one will be able to choose."
All were silent as the Creator reached into himself
and removed something yet unseen. A seed. "it's
called 'choice.' The seed of choice."
Creation stood in silence and gazed upon the lifeless form.
An angel spoke, "But what if he ..."
"What if he chooses not to love?" the Creator finished. "Come, I will show you."
Unbound by today, God and the angel walked into the realm of tomorrow.
"There, see the fruit of the seed of choice, both the sweet and the bitter."
The angel gasped at what he saw. Spontaneous love.
Voluntary devotion. Chosen tenderness. Never
had he seen anything like these. He felt the love of the Adams. He heard the joy of Eve and her
daughters. He saw the food and the burdens shared. He absorbed the kindness and marveled at the
"Heaven has never seen such beauty, my Lord. Truly, this is your greatest creation."
"Ah, but you've only seen the sweet. Now witness the bitter."
A stench enveloped the pair. The angel turned in horror and proclaimed, "What is it?"
The Creator spoke only one word: "Selfishness."
The angel stood speechless as they passed through
centuries of repugnance. Never had he seen
such filth. Rotten hearts. Ruptured promises. Forgotten loyalties. Children of the creation wandering
blindly in lonely labyrinths.
"This is the result of choice? the angel asked.
"They will forget you?"
"They will reject you?"
They will never come back?
"Some will. Most won't."
"What will it take to make them listen?"
The Creator walked on in time, further and further
into the future, until he stood by a tree. A tree
that would be fashioned into a cradle. Even then he could smell the hay that would surround him.
With another step into the future, he paused before
another tree. It stood alone, a stubborn ruler on a
bald hill. The trunk was thick, and the wood was strong. Soon it would be cut. Soon it would be
trimmed. Soon it would be mounted on the stony brow of another hill. And soon he would be hung on
He felt the wood rub against a back he did not yet wear.
"Will you go down there?" the angel asked.
"Is there no other way?"
"There is not."
"Wouldn't it be easier to not plant the seed? Wouldn't it be easier to not give the choice?"
"It would," the Creator spoke slowly. "But to remove the choice is to remove the love."
He look around the hill and foresaw a scene. Three
figures hung on three crosses. Arms spread.
Heads fallen forward. They moaned with the wind.
Men clad in soldier's garb sat on the ground near the trio. They played games in the dirt and laughed.
Men clad in religion stood off to one side. They
smiled. Arrogant, cocky. They had protected God,
they thought by killing this false one.
Women clad in sorrow huddled at the foot of the
hill. Speechless. Faces tear streaked. Eyes
downward. One put her arm around another and tried to lead her away. She wouldn't leave. "I will
stay," she said softly, "I will stay."
All heaven stood to fight. All nature rose to rescue.
All eternity poised to protect. But the Creator
gave no command.
"It must be done...," he said, and withdrew.
But as he stepped in time, he heard the cry that
he would someday scream: "My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me?" He wrenched at tomorrow's agony.
The angel spoke again. "I would be less painful..."
The Creator interrupted softly. "But it wouldn't be love."
They stepped into the Garden again. The Maker looked
earnestly at the clay creation. A monsoon of
love swelled up within him. He had died for the creation before he had made him. God's form bent
over the sculptured face and breathed. Dust stirred on the lips of the new one. The chest rose,
cracking the red mud. The cheeks fleshened. A finger moved. And an eye opened.
But more incredible than the moving of the flesh
was the stirring of the spirit. Those who could see
the unseen gasped.
Perhaps it was the wind who said it first. Perhaps
what the star saw that moment is what has made
it blink ever since. Maybe it was left to an angel to whisper it:
"It looks like ... it appears to so much like ... it is him!"
The angel wasn't speaking of the face, the features, or the body. He was looking inside - at the soul.
"It's eternal!" gasped another.
Within the man, God has placed a divine seed. A
seed of his self. The God of might had created
earth's mightiest. The Creator had created, not a creature, but another creator. And the One who
had chosen to love had created one who could love in return.
Now it's our choice.
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