By Melani McLean
An inquisitive eight year old learns that
according to one story an apple helped to mar the perfect state of the world
because God is holy and declared the fruit from one tree to be too sublime for human mouths.
He wonders why those who believe in this tale
continue to eat the food that removed their ancestors from paradise.
and his first theological question finds no answer from authority.
It’s only a symbol, a connection to a larger metaphor and principle.
God is holy.
You don’t fight God.
When he reads the story, the apple is missing from every translation except the oral.
to show that there are consequences for disobeying
and to keep a boy like him from asking questions by making God tangible.
God is holy and not often fond of details.
Later in life he will learn that the writers of the Mishnah
speculate the fruit is unidentified to protect it.
Everything that God creates is good, they say,
and humanity lacks the power to label anything otherwise.
The boy remains unsatisfied with this
and every other theory.
God is the creator of all things and doesn’t need to be comprehensible.
Nor does God need consent before acting
God is holy and humans are as well but only by association.
This story and all those that follow exist because of God’s love
You don’t change them after youth no longer demands it.
They are meant to stand for all time
God established time.
Once he moves from this story to those found in the other 1,186 chapters of the Christian holy book
he forms other questions and notices patterns,
unable to appreciate mystery in doctrine and scripture he is told to believe intensely.
His final theological inquiry developed when numbers lost their reliability.
According to the stories some have special significance;
3, 7 and 40, are repeated for wholeness, perfection, and completion respectively.
Almost all numbers are purely symbolic though the extent remains uncertain.
He finds that if all accounts are taken literally
God is responsible for 3 million deaths while Satan is credited with 20.
God is holy and awe is always terrifying when crossing an oath of allegiance produces these results
If nothing else, understand not everything is meant to damage you.