God spoke into a garden and created man. That's what the good book says. God created man, and then he created woman, and then, he gave them work. Back then, I reckon, it wasn't all about market economies and building sky-scraping mud huts to heaven. Before the fall, it wasn't about padding the bank vault or adding another digit to the backend of a 401(k). It wasn't about the corner office and the leather chair. The cows were still wearing their leather, in fact, and I suppose everyone aimed to let the cattle keep their skin. Instead, the way I reckon it, work was less about security and more about communing with a good God. It was about engaging the soil of creation and enjoying the company of the fellow workers.
Camaraderie was a real thing back then--how sweat mingled and communed with soil; how soil harnessed the salt and water of sweat to grow good produce; how all of it sang praise to the imagination of a relational God. Doesn't this feel true? Doesn't it really? Ask yourself.
There was a day, they say, when men and women broke the rules and found themselves on the outside of this Camaraderie, this connection. It was the day, they say again, that God buried the groan for redemption in men and soil alike. (Rom. 8:22). We men have toiled ever since, but instead of the toil toward camaraderie, we toil toward other things: the sky-scraping McMansions, the padded bank vaults, the extra digits on the 401(k), and the leather chair in the corner office.
There are some that struggle for redemption, though. I want you to meet them.