The Original Selfie

After the Lord God had placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, He formed out of the ground wild animals and all the birds in the sky.

He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; whatever the man called each living creature, that would be its name. But the man was overwhelmed; after fifteen birds, he was naming them “yellow bird,” “orange bird,” and “yellow bird with some black on it.”

The Lord God was unimpressed. Adam was apologetic. He said, “It is hard keeping all the wild animals and birds straight. Is there some way I can make an image of each one, so that I can think up better names?”

The Lord God pondered this and, soon after, gave the man a smartphone and said, “You may take pictures of the wild animals and birds with this. Notice how the camera feature is almost instinctive. Which is, obviously, how I would make a camera feature.”

The man liked the phone, and took many pictures with it. He was making real progress with the whole naming thing but, as time went on, he felt there was something missing from the pictures. So he went to the Lord God and said, “It is true I can take pictures of the wild animals and birds, but how am I to take pictures of myself with the animals and birds? If you looked at these pictures, you wouldn’t even know I was here in the Garden of Eden.”

The Lord God didn’t understand. “Why does that matter? You are here.”

“Yes, but I can’t really show anyone, can I?”

“There’s no one else to show.”

But Adam was persistent in his need to be part of the pictures. The Lord God pondered this and said, “It is not good for the man to be without pictures of himself.” So the Lord God added a feature to the camera, making it capable of taking pictures from both sides so that the man could be in pictures with the wild animals and birds.

The man liked the new feature, and took many pictures that way. But after a while he grew tired of his face being so large in the foreground with the wild animals and birds so far in the background. So he went to the Lord God and said, “It is true I can take pictures of myself, but I am limited by the length of my arms as to what kind of pictures I can take.”

“There is nothing wrong with the length of your arms.”

“I know, I know, they were made in your image, like everything else. It is just… from these pictures, you would not know that I have a torso or legs. Is it not wrong that the image of my image, which is also your image, is so limited?”

The Lord God pondered this and said, “It is not good that the man’s image is so limited,” so he agreed to take Adam’s picture with the smartphone. Adam looked at the smartphone afterwards and liked the picture that the Lord God took, and the Lord God went on his way.

But as the days went by, Adam would frequently ask the Lord God to take more pictures of him with different wild animals and birds and the Lord God became tired of these requests. He said, “I will make a helper suitable for him.” So the Lord God made a woman and he brought her to the man. “Here is someone who can take your picture,” He said, and left them.

The woman was named Eve and she quickly learned to take pictures of Adam, and he also enjoyed taking pictures of Eve. But after a while they grew annoyed that it was so difficult to take a picture of themselves together. So they went to the Lord God.

“Now what?” said the Lord God, trying, with difficulty, to conceal his frustration.

“It is true that we can now take pictures of each other,” said the man. “But how do we take a picture that shows the two of us together as well as the wild animals and birds?”

“Why does it matter?” said the Lord God. “You are together. In the Garden of Eden. Which is literally paradise. Is that not enough?”
“It is great, God,” said Eve. “We really love it here. It would just be better if we could show it all in one picture, you know?”

“Look,” said the Lord God, “I have tried to be understanding. But enough is enough. Don’t bother me about the pictures anymore.” And He left them.

The man and the woman were bereft; it seemed as if they would never be able to take a decent picture of themselves together. But then the serpent, which was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made, directed the woman to the tree of knowledge and said, “I bet if you put the smartphone on the end of one of those long, straight branches, you could take any number of great pictures.”

But the tree of knowledge was the one tree in the Garden of Eden that the Lord God had said was forbidden to the man and the woman. When Eve expressed this, the serpent said, “You and Adam look so hot together that none of that matters.”

When Eve saw that the long, straight branch from the tree was a perfect way to take pictures of herself, she took it to Adam, who also took some pictures of himself. Then they took pictures of themselves together, which the stick allowed them to do with greater perspective than ever before, and they found that the serpent had spoken correctly: They did look hot together. But when the Lord God discovered what they had done, he was furious. “You have disobeyed my word. I suggest you two take a good, hard look at yourselves.”

“That is why we got the stick,” said Adam.

“I didn’t mean that literally,” groaned the Lord God. “I cannot deal with this anymore!”

The man and the woman were banished, but as they were leaving, they got an awesome shot of themselves in front of some cherubim and the flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. So it was totally worth it.