Aaron spoke the Story to her:
Before the snow cursed the ground, before the smoke blotted out the sky, before the clouds hid the sun, there was a Garden.
The Garden was good. Two people lived there, working it, growing it, living together. It was so warm they needed no coats, nor even clothes. They did not know what shame was. Nor pain. Nor sorrow. They walked with the Creator, the one who had planted the Garden. They knew only good, for they knew the Creator face-to-face, the one who put the sun in the sky as it was meant to be. They knew only the warmth of his heart, and they returned that warmth from their own hearts.
A serpent befriended them. The serpent told them there was something better than the Garden. A place where the man and his wife could know more. They would know a thing called “evil.” They would know a thing called “cold.” And this knowledge would make them equal to the one who had created the Garden. All they had to do was take something their Creator had told them not to take. It was such a little thing, and it would give them so much.
And so the woman took some. And she gave some to the man.
And their eyes were opened.
They felt shame. They felt pain. They felt sorrow. They covered their shame in leaves. They covered their pain in hiding. They covered their sorrow with blame.
For the first time ever, cold entered the world. Because of them.
And the Creator came. These two had destroyed his creation. They had disobeyed him. They discovered what “evil” is by becoming evil. They discovered what “cold” is by letting their hearts become cold.
And that’s when the Creator spoke the curse. He cursed the ground so it would not grow anything without so much work. He cursed the woman so she would know pain. He cursed the man so he would die.
But they aren’t the only ones he cursed.
The Creator turned to the serpent and promised, “I will put hatred between you and the woman, and between all your offspring and all her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
He promised an end to the curse. An end to the serpent through one who would come from the woman. One of the offspring of the woman would come and do it.
But not yet.
They waited for so many years. And every person born fell under the curse. They returned to dust. They died, enslaved. They died in the cold, hungering for the heat that only the Creator could provide.
But we all took after that first man and that first woman. We were broken. Our hearts were cold. We thought it was better to know evil than to know good, to know the Creator. And so each one of us deserved the curse.
And then he came. He was born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under law. His heart was not cold. He shared his heat with all, especially those who knew they deserved no warmth from the Creator. If anyone could escape the curse, it was this one. If anyone should live without pain or sorrow, if anyone should know heat and joy, it was this man.
But they dragged him outside their city. They took nails and drove them through his wrists and his ankles. They hung him on wood. He never deserved the curse, but that’s what he got.
And as he hung from that wood, he took all the coldness of our hearts. He took all the evil we were, all the evil we’d ever known. He bore the curse for us. He was formed from dust, and even though he had never known the cold of evil, he died. The serpent struck him on the heel, killing him, turning his body as cold as our hearts. But even as the serpent struck, he crushed it. In his death, he gave us all the warmth of the Creator.
His body didn’t stay cold, though. On the third day, his body regained its heat. He rose from that cold place, alive. The Creator looked at him and approved of his sacrifice.
You’re not under the curse any more. The Son of the Creator himself came and took your cold heart away and gave you the warmth of the Creator.
And this person has a name.
Read more of the world of Snow and Smoke here.
Read the previous entry, For from Dust You Were Formed, here.
Read the next entry, Cursed Are You, here.