As we all know, our forefathers broke their promise to God and sinned by eating the forbidden fruit (which turned them into sinful and weak people like us). But before they did that, everything was special in them, including their appearance, clothes and even their speech.
Most of the clothes that we use now are made at a factory, or sometimes at home. Adam and Eve had clothes not made by hands, woven of golden, self-luminous threads of Divine grace. These wonderful clothes fit just right and never hindered their movements. Our forefathers never had any blisters or abrasions from their paradise sandals. Adam and Eve never needed to dry-clean or wash their grace-filled outfits. They were eternal, incorruptible and very, very beautiful!
The speech of our forefathers was also special.
To exchange thoughts with each other, Adam and Eve did not need to pronounce sounds like “r r r”, “l-l-l”, “ugh” or “gee” … They did not need to use their teeth, lips and breath to exhaust the air stream producing the sounds from which our words are now composed. Adam and Eve did not use grammar or spelling; they didn’t send text messages to each other. In fact, as you may have guessed, there were no mobile phones in paradise.
It was enough for one of our forefathers to think of something good, to make his thought fly like a butterfly (a swallowtail or a “peacock”) and land on the other one’s heart, like on a fragrant flower. Suppose Adam could wish Eve, “Good morning, how glad I am to see you, God bless you.” And Eve immediately heard Adam’s voice in her heart and smiled. Her thought flew in response with a soundless impulse: “Adam, my husband and my sunshine, let me walk with you along the paradise paths and see how you communicate with animals, giving each animal a name corresponding to its properties…”
So they communicated without opening their mouths, but hearing each other’s voices in the depths of their souls much clearer and more distinctly than we do when we take a mobile phone and put it to our ear. It should be noted that we have preserved the remnants of such a “connection” even after the fall of Adam.
Fortunately, we have not completely lost this paradise ability. It is called love.
When a mother looks at her baby with tenderness and wordlessly addresses him, smiling and kissing him on the forehead, we can see rays of light pouring from her eyes. These rays touch the immortal soul of the baby making it smile back at its mother with a radiant toothless smile. Spouses who love each other may not say a single word for an hour or two, just sitting next to each other on a bench and watching in silence as the sun sinks over the horizon. These serene moments give the spouses peaceful happiness.
And then they will exchange impressions with each other, and agree that they were then granted a special, mysterious communion of souls. I am sure that you have already told a priest about your sins and have seen a priest looking carefully into the eyes of his spiritual child as if “knocking” at his heart. Sometimes the spiritual child is embarrassed and cannot utter a word. The priest will certainly give him some advice. Experienced priests are hardly ever mistaken in their “tips”. Why is it so?
Because loving people read each other’s hearts like interesting books opened with confidence to a loving gaze.
Confessor of the Alekseevsky Convent in Moscow, member of the Writers’ Union of Russia, Archpriest Artemy Vladimirov
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds