You’ve seen plants die and you’ve seen animals die, but no human has yet to pass on. Your parents have told you of a Garden where beauty and life flourished beyond comprehension. Yes, you know that death could happen to a human, but you hold your breath. You spend your time attempting to please God with sacrifices, giving Him all that you can. Life hasn’t been easy but your parents treat you with compassion though they both seem to carry around so much guilt.
Your brother, he’s a different story. There’s always a little that he holds back. They way he loves you, the way he loves his parents, and the way he loves God. He’s holding back. You believe that he’s trying, but then again who can know the heart but God.
Your whole life flashes before your eyes as that very brother dashes your head with a stone and you feel life begin to leave you.
You will be the first to cross over into the shadows.
You see his face, and you hate. Yes, you hate him. With the little that’s left of your functioning mind you hate your brother Cain.
On a typical morning you may find me waking up in my home, sleepily walking to the coffee grinder and beginning the ritual of making that sweet nectar to begin my day. Once I’ve got the coffee brewing I head to the living room and read the Bible. If you’re anything like me, sometimes those words on the page stay put. They don’t bounce up and take on new meaning. Sometimes I finish reading a passage in the Bible and realize that I was busy thinking of what I was going to do afterward. Then I move on with my day. Sometimes reading stories that are thousands of years old can be difficult to understand or interpret.
So years ago when I began my Bible ep series I wanted to humanize these stories. Now I think it’s important to note that I try to stay theologically sound when writing these songs, but the songs themselves are not Scripture. If you listen past the downloadable song Abel, Pt. III on my latest release The First Family, you will find Adam, Eve, Abel, and Cain. All characters that I strove to discover something new about their story. Something relatable. In Abel we find that he comes to hate his brother for murdering him (wouldn’t you?) but ultimately he puts his trust in God who tells him, “Son, I love Cain too. If that’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for you.” Cain responds with hatred not toward his brother but toward God yelling at him for cursing him with a mark on his face, “If this is righteousness I’d hate to see Your vengeance. If this is mercy, I would hate to see the condemned.”
Adam, Eve, Abel, and Cain make up the first family to walk on the earth and when we read stories from the Bible we can’t forget that they are humans just like us. So jump back into a story, and really think about what in the world that character could have been going through when the weight of the world rested on their shoulders. Maybe when we combine the beauty of art and take extra time to look at these old stories, we can see emotions in them. We can see and learn from them in ways we may never have considered. Maybe we can experience those words jumping out at us and coming alive, while we sip on our coffee in the morning.
by Micah McCaw