For, by the disaster of his charity, God plays out at last the Game that began with the dawn of history. In the Garden of Eden – in the paradise of pleasure – where God laid out his court and first served the hint of meaning to humankind – Adam strove with God over the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God does not accept thrown-down racquets. He refuses, at any cost, to take seriously, our declination of the game; if Adam will not have God’s rules, God will play by Adam’s. In another and darker garden he accepts the tree of our choosing, and with nails through his hands and feet he volleys back meaning for unmeaning. As the darkness descends, at the last foul drive of a desperate day, he turns to the thief on the right and brings off the dazzling backhand return that fetches history home in triumph: Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

God has Gardens to give away! He has cities to spare! He has history he hasn’t even used! The last of all the mercies is that God is lighter than we are, that in the heart of the Passion lies the divine mirth, and that even in the cities of our exile he still calls to Adam only to catch the Glory, to offer the world, and return the service that shapes the City of God.

Robert F. Capon, The Romance of the Word: One Man’s Love Affair With Theology¬†

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