I can still remember the day when my beloved grandpa returned home from the market with a surprise in his bicycle basket—a live hen! Grandpa gave it a home in an airy box at the back of the yard. My brother and I gave it a name and fed it. We watched it clucking away every day without a worry in the world—children and chicken alike.
One fateful morning Grandpa entered the house holding our pet upside down by its legs. He marched unceremoniously to the bathroom and locked the door behind him. Dark forebodings arose in my brother’s and my mind. We began asking curt questions through the door, banging with our fists, and demanding immediate answers. But alas, no answers came.
The next day, the mystery was solved by the arrival of our hen on the dinner table, dressed with all the trimmings of a weekend roast. My brother and I commenced our first quasi hunger strike in protest. The event also germinated my earliest vegetarian reflections.
Seeing our pet plated up for dinner introduced my childish mind to the sad reality that something was gravely amiss in the world—despite the otherwise happy and loving home of our grandparents. Since then, far greater losses have hammered home the perennial dimensions of death and suffering. The stern realities of our day, be they pandemics, disasters, or personal tragedies, are constant reminders that our world is broken. However, it was not always so.
The Bible talks of our primeval home in Eden, where the parents of the human race lived in perfect peace and happiness. Their fall into sin marred that blissful existence, and ever since and in a myriad of ways, people have attempted to regain our lost paradise, from religious sects to communist utopians, from present-day activists to well-meaning scientists. So far, none have succeeded. Consequently, a question arises: will the dream of regaining paradise ever come to fruition, and if yes, when and how? In searching for answers, we need to go to the beginning and recall what we lost that day in the Garden.
That’s a thought from the FREE feature article in our latest issue by Antonella Pedley. Don’t miss out on all the relevant information found in "Reclaiming Paradise."
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