Last night my son and I went to the Aurora Theatre to see their newest show Children of Eden. The first act focused on the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. This show displayed the inquisitive nature of Eve as a child exploring the world around her, with the stark contrast of Adam being the child that was seeking his Father’s approval. The more Eve probed into why God said don’t eat from the tree, the more she desired. When Eve finally met the “serpent” in the Garden, I found it laughable that there were 5 serpents, not one.
I related to this portrayal of Eve on so many levels I caught myself grinning a little too often. We traveled through time through the story of Cain and Able and I saw my children. I saw one child being the people pleaser and following all the rules, while the other wanted to explore this big giant world beyond.
When the lights came up, people began leaving the auditorium. We had a brief intermission before the second act began. I pulled out my phone to write down my feelings about the first act and aborted the missions to scroll social media. As I was scrolling we saw something flying across the theatre. “Is that a bird? (quick pause) OMG it’s a BAT!”
As onlookers began to notice this creature flying above our heads there was a collective fascination with this unlikely addition to an otherwise magical evening of theatre. Over the course of several minutes, the bat continued to soar above us, every now and then dipping a little lower. The soaring and dipping continued until audience members were ducking and dodging it. At this point we were no longer onlookers of a bat soaring above us, we were terrified of an intruder in our evening. The bat continued to gain speed and fly lower and lower until it landed on the stage and was caught by the crew.
We applauded the crew for capturing an unlikely visitor in our lives at that moment and went on to enjoy an equally wonderful second act of the play which focused on the life of Noah and his Ark. I began to notice had angry “Father” (God) was in this second act. His harsh words, demeanor, and even song lyrics humanized who God is in human form. The entire production was breathtaking.
This morning I woke up still thinking about that bat. I can close my eyes and still see it hovering above us and gaining speed as it came down on top of the crowd. I can see the lady down front with her coat over her head screaming as the bat continued to brush the tops of heads of theatre-goers and then I felt God speak…
Early Sunday Morning
We’ve all heard the story of Adam and Eve. We all know the beginning, the middle and the end. We know we must endure hard labor because Eve ate an apple. I knew to expect the serpent the story because we’ve glorified the snakes’ role in the fall of man. But what about the unlikely visit we received from the bat? No one expected there to a bat in the Garden of Eden at last night’s show, but it was. It was unexpected and ended up being terrifying and then caught. It was caught and unharmed because it’s an endangered species.
The reality is this, there had to have been bats in the actual Garden of Eden because God gave Adam dominion over all the animals and gave him permission to name them. The part of the story we missed is how while we know the snake is present, we overlook any other threats in this scene.
As Christians, we know to look for snakes in the grass, but no one ever reminds us the snake wasn’t the only threat in the Garden. What bats are hovering in your life, creating toxic environments that you ignore because they are an endangered species we can not destroy. We know that some things, people and situations can kill us (snakes) so we like to kill them first. But what about the bats hovering over our lives, present without us paying it any attention, but are just as much of a threat?
While I thought I was going to see a show about the Children of Eden, God used this moment to open my eyes to a very adult lesson no one else has ever mentioned to me before. There will always be dangers seen and unseen, the level with which we respond is what will determine who we become in the sight of God.