Since I was a child I
remember loving not only plants but all manner of things which grew from the ground.
I would watch in wonder day after day as the seeds I planted would burst forth from the ground and transform into a
thing of beauty. My brother on the other hand could not understand my love of
plants; to him they were boring, he liked animals: sheep and cattle, dogs and cats.
Ever since he was little and our parents would leave me to watch over him, he would run off after some curious creature
he had just discovered.
Although I was only 3
years older then he, my parents would often chastise me when I would loose track of him; “Abel is younger then you!
You must keep after him, what if something was to befall him while we were away and he was in your care? How would you feel?
While we are away you are your brothers’ keeper we trust in you.”
I loved my brother he was never
a burden to me, he was a joy. Watching after him could be bothersome at times
because I had my own interests which he did not share, but truth be told he could always find a way to make me laugh and the
years I spent looking after him are still among my most beloved memories.
This all changed in my sixteenth
year, Abel was now thirteen and because of his extraordinary gift with animals he could be trusted to herd the sheep almost
single handedly. I would still have to seek him out and check on him from time
to time but I still was granted more time to myself to tend the crops I was entrusted to raise. That year I had grown more
bountiful crops then I had ever imagined I would because I had more time to spend with them.
I just knew in my heart that
when the time came Our Lord would be pleased with this years offering, at least more so then in years past. This was to be my third year making such an offering and it was to be Abel’s first. Our Lord had always encouraged my gifts with plants in years past; as it was known that I could and would
do better. In this current year of Our Lord I felt he would be pleased with my
works, as I had more time now to care for my crops.
When came the time, Abel was
blessed and I was yet again found wanting. I was heart broken, at sixteen it
felt as if my world was ending. With Abel’s blessing, I was informed that
he could now be accepted as a man, no longer in need of my keeping; I was now fully free to pursue my passion, but this news
rang hollow in my broken heart. My sadness became rage not at my brother for I loved him dearly, at the time I felt it was
at Our Lord whom I felt had no cause to find me wanting. Now I know the rage
I felt was at myself for not understanding the wisdom in Our Lords ways, too be thankful for the freedom I had finally been
granted. I was unable to see that he sought only to encourage Abel’s gifts
as he had so often tried to encourage my own. I understood none of this.
When my brother sought
me out later that evening, in his joy he could not understand my pain. He tried
as best he could to make me smile and laugh for him, as was ever his gift but this time it was to no avail as I told him time
and again to leave me with my moods. It must have been shocking for him to hear
this as I had never said such things to him before; he had ever felt welcomed in my company.
In what must have been
frustration he tried to grab hold of me, to hug me, but not wanting to be touched I rejected him. I pushed him away; he fell,
his head struck a rock and he died. I held him in my arms all that night crying
and sobbing, hoping and praying that he would return unto me. When the dawn came
and I saw that this was not to be I left him there and returned to my fields.
This was where Our Lord found
me and where he asked of my brother; this was where in fear, shame and spit I replied. “I know not, am I my brothers’
keeper?” This was where Our Lord revealed the depth of this most awful
of sins to myself and to my parents, as I watched my crops wither and die all around me. This was where I was cursed to forever
walk the Earth until the end of time.
For nearly five millenniums,
my sin has been known to all but never have the circumstances surrounding them. That
one moment has ever been my greatest shame and for as long as I am, I shall never forgive myself for having taken a life which
I once held so dear. I tell this story now not to ask forgiveness for the act,
but to provide clarity and beg understanding. I also write these words because
I know Our Lord has a Son who forgives, so I write to ask if you can forgive me for the harm my act has brought to our race,
as he forgives you?
I am Cain and this is
the story of how I fell and how because of it I may never see my parents or my brother ever again.....