The other night one of the children at the residential facility I work at got up in the middle of the night and tried everything under the...moon...to keep from going back to bed. At one point she was reading to my work partner from a children's story Bible. My coworker said to the child, "You're really good at reading. What is your favorite part of that story?" The child replied, "The part where Adam and Eve get kicked out for no reason."
We laughed at this (not in front of the child). My first thought was, "Someone didn't listen very well when this passage was explained...she missed the whole point!" My second was more along the lines of...it probably does seem to her that they were kicked out (of the Garden of Eden) for no reason.
All they did was eat an apple.
They disobeyed God in eating the forbidden fruit, yes; but from this child's perspective, disobedience is part of everyday life - especially this child, one who is in residential care for behavioral issues. It made me wonder how she perceived the idea of "getting kicked out" by God for something as little as eating a piece of fruit He left on the counter but then said was off-limits. I mean, it's fruit! If someone doesn't eat it, it will soon go bad anyway. Isn't that a waste...? And there's always an abundance of it lying around, it's not like eating this fruit will be putting anyone else out of a meal or snack.
I wonder how this story makes this child perceive God (and, in fact, everyone else in authority over her). Is she unwanted because she chooses to disobey? Is she going to be banished forever from the presence of those who brought her into being and are supposed to be there to care for her and love her?