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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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November 10, 2008

Ice Cream and Eden

It's a teacher in-service day, so there's no school in Austin. While it should be a time of great joy for children across the city, two out of three Dworin kids are in a lock-down version of time out.

As I got ready this morning, Ben reached into the freezer, grabbed two Drumstick ice cream cones and offered one to his little sister. They snuck out to the backyard and had dessert -- all before 8 a.m.

I had a fun day planned. A trip to the movies to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," lunch at Jason's Deli, and then maybe a walk over to the nearby GameStop to hunt for a used Wii game. Now none of this will happen. Instead, we're learning a tough lesson about self-control.

I feel as if a twist on the Adam and Eve story is playing out in my home. Ben opens the fridge, hands a forbidden treat to his sister and they eat. Mom walks into the backyard. She finds her kids crouching on the patio with chocolate smeared across their lips and hands dripping with vanilla ice cream.

The result? They're exiled from the Paradise that I planned for the day.

I don't want to draw too many comparisons between myself and God (although the opinion I hold of myself is often more elevated than warranted) or to my two youngest and Christianity's boldest sinners. But the experience today gave me perhaps a small glimpse of the sadness God might felt that day in Eden -- and perhaps a glimpse of the love and mercy that God might have felt, too.

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