When I was a kid, there was this adorable Catholic cartoon called Cherub Wings. (It is so lovely I would still watch it shamelessly today.)
At the time, however, one of them creeped me out.
It was when Cherub recounted the Jesus’ parable of the Greedy Rich Man who built bigger barns to hold his wealth, but that night, his life was demanded of him.
Cherub did everything right to make this story as gentle as possible for young eyes. Pleasant music, a smiling Jesus, cute animation, funny voices, all of it. Yet, five-year-old me still wanted to crawl under the covers.
I could easily blame it on a few frames burned in my brain that unsettled me for no legitimate reason. I don’t think that’s why, though.
I think it’s because the guy died.
Cherub was gentle, but it didn’t hide the truth, just like Jesus didn’t. That night (yes, depicted in animation), the guy dropped dead in his own bed. And it didn’t look like God was happy with him.
That’s scary. It’s scary like standing on the slippery edge of a high cliff, sitting next to an angry venomous snake, or experiencing a creaky airplane flight with turbulence is scary. It’s scary because that’s God’s way of protecting us by showing us what we should avoid.
God never meant for any of us to die; that was not His intention in Eden, but sin came, and now loss of life—and possible loss of soul—exist. And it disquiets us because God is begging us not to put ourselves in that horrifying danger. Because we long for God’s life and hate to see it threatened.
Remember, though: fear doesn’t get the final word. It can be a useful tool as a warning against harm, but that’s what it needs to stay—a tool. Not the status quo. Not the goal.
No, the status quo and goal are what God intended in Eden: fullness of life, of joy, of peace, of trust in His power and protection, with Him.