Today is going to be a bit different. Instead of a devotional, I’m going to be sharing the first chapter from my new novel, Eden, which is launching on April 1st.
It’s without a doubt the best book in the series, and I’m very excited for its release! Because not only does it mark the release of a new book – it also marks the release of new editions of Flood and Babel with brand-new book covers.
On April 1st, you’ll get another email from me with a link to the book on Amazon. But before then. . . here’s what the book is about:
“You want me to tell of how I broke the world.”
It’s the year 641 since the beginning of everything, and when Eve passes away, she leaves Adam the only man on earth who remembers all that happened since they walked in Eden.
When Enoch, God’s newly appointed prophet, decides to collect the stories of the faithful from previous generations, he finds Adam in desperate need to confess the dark secrets he’s held onto for too long.
Beside a slowly burning bonfire in the dead of night, Adam tells his story in searing detail. From the beginning of life, to how he broke the world, shattered Eve’s heart, and watched his family crumble.
Will Enoch uncover what led so many of Adam’s children away from God? And will Adam find the redemption and forgiveness he longs for?
Read the first chapter below, then pick up the rest of the book on April 1st!
The moon hid behind a curtain of grey clouds. Adam stood in the shadows behind his home staring at the bonfire outside their small village until his eyes burned. But he wasn’t so much staring at the fire as he was the figure standing beside it and waiting.
For weeks, Enoch—the newly appointed prophet chosen by God—had hounded Adam to come and share the stories he’d withheld from his children. To lay bare the secrets of his soul, so that the young man could record a history of the world for future generations.
Adam had been the one to invent their system of writing. For posterity sake, he was drawn to the idea of such a massive undertaking. And he couldn’t deny that he was attracted to the idea of confessing his sins to someone chosen by God to leave the hills they called home and never return.
But that wasn’t why Adam was standing outside his home shivering.
What lit a spark in him to sit beside that fire was the knowledge that Enoch was the only man in the last six centuries to hear the voice of Adam’s father, the Almighty Creator God.
Adam had ruined everything. And since Eve’s passing last year, he had lived alone feeling the weight of a life filled with regrets.
There beside the fire stood the only person who could talk to Father. And once Enoch left, Adam may never get the chance to speak with the Almighty again.
Yet if Enoch were to fulfill Adam’s request, Adam would first need to fulfill Enoch’s.
Enoch tossed more logs onto the bonfire, sending sparks skittering upward. Adam’s eyes followed those swirling shards of light until one by one they blinked away, leaving only the stars glowing like so many silver eyes behind them.
Adam suppressed his fear, pulled his outer tunic closer, and walked into the ring of light.
At the sound of his footsteps, Enoch turned and met his gaze.
Adam nodded and sat on a flat stone close enough to feel the heat. Enoch didn’t look surprised to see him. As Enoch sat beside Adam on a fallen log, it seemed he had even expected him.
“Do you feel prepared to leave?” Adam said.
Enoch tipped his head. “More or less.”
Adam opened his palms to the heat. Enoch looked at Adam’s hands, and his eyes widened. Adam looked at his fingers and realized that in the orange firelight, his blisters looked painful indeed. “The older I get, the worse they look at harvest.”
“Do they feel the same?”
Adam shrugged and smirked. “More or less.”
Enoch stared into the flames.
Adam yawned and stretched, then turned his back to the flames to even out the heat.
“You want something from me.” Enoch picked up a stick and broke it into smaller pieces.
“And you want something from me.”
“So, what shall we do?” Adam said.
Several breaths passed between them. An owl hooted in the distance. Cold and clear.
“If you tell me everything, and leave out nothing, I will grant you any reasonable request you can think of.” Enoch continued staring at the flames.
“Speak to the Almighty on my behalf.”
“Done,” he said. “So long as you don’t try to hide anything. I need everything. Every mistake, every joy, every detail that matters. I have gathered all that I could from the others. I never realized until doing so just how much you’ve withheld from us.”
“You want me to tell of how I broke the world,” Adam said.
“Well, yes. But all of us have sinned, Adam. What right do any of us have to criticize you for your mistakes?”
Adam showed Enoch his blisters again. “Why wouldn’t you? Right or wrong?”
Enoch nodded and chewed his bottom lip.
“Have you recorded their stories on tablets already?”
Enoch shook his head. “The Almighty has gifted me with a memory nearly as powerful as yours. It is all in here.” He tapped his temple. “Soon to be here.” He tapped the stone Adam sat on. “But I will need to travel far. To carry that many heavy tablets would be unwise.”
Adam nodded, relieved because that meant there would be a limit to how easily the others in the village would come to understand whatever secrets he shared with Enoch. “If I tell you my story, you must not tell it to anyone here while I’m still alive.”
The wind shifted, blowing a bit of smoke into their faces. “I will do what you ask.”
Adam pulled his tunic over his nose until the wind shifted again. “I must admit . . . this past week, I’ve been wondering . . . maybe if I tell everything—confess for the first time the full weight of my mistakes—someone might find a way to finally be released from the curse of death that my sin purchased. After all, we are still searching for the fulfillment of my Father’s promise in Eden, and . . . who knows how much longer I will be alive.”
“Is that what you want me to speak to the Almighty about?” Enoch said.
“No.” Adam rested his elbows on his knees. “What I want to say to the Almighty is personal. But it matters more to me than anything.” After a moment, he added, “You still agree?”
“Of course. I am the prophet of the Almighty. I do not bandy my words lightly. But if you are to share everything with me, you must begin right away. I leave soon.”
“Where would you like me to begin?”
“Where else? At your beginning.”
“My beginning?” Adam said.
“Yes, if you can remember that far.”
Adam scoffed. “If only I could forget. But that will take many hours.”
Enoch nodded. “Would you prefer to begin in the morning?”
Adam shook his head. “If I am going to confess my sins, I’d rather begin before other ears rise to hear them.”
“This isn’t just about your sins,” Enoch said. “This is to chronicle the significant events of the history of the world. I need everything.”
“You will get it. Now, enough niggling. Let me begin.”
So Adam, first of men, lifted his arm as if to grasp the hand of some distant memory and pull it through the veil, into thick existence.
And he began, “In my beginning was not darkness . . .”