The Pastor’s Wife

Found and lost

I don’t believe the story about Adam and Eve, not for one second. I have never met a female who liked snakes and would feel comfortable voluntarily talking to one, much less taking dietary advice from it.

I suppose if you are going to take dietary advice from creatures, snakes are skinny. Maybe it wasn’t just the downfall of humanity, maybe it was also the beginning of vanity. All of that for just a piece of fruit? It was totally not worth it. I would have needed cake with the really good butter cream frosting to make me sin.

I accepted long ago if it were up to me (or people like me) humanity wouldn’t have fallen and the human race would have died out – because I am lazy. I wouldn’t have wandered around any garden with snakes in it, and no way would I have wandered around anywhere for 40 years like the Israelites. If someone had asked me to spy on the Promised Land, I would have said, “Why spy on the place? I’m sure it’s fine, let’s just go. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can rest.” I wandered around in the wilderness for what seemed like 40 years once, so I can relate to those people in the Bible. I’m sure there was some wife on that desert trip who felt just like I did when my husband the Pastor got us lost on our European vacation.

Note to self: The next time he asks, “Do you want to go to the gift shop or do you want to go for a walk in the woods around the castle?”, always choose the gift shop.

Oh, and remember when he says “walk,” that’s really his secret code word for “hike.” He will make it sound like a nice, romantic walk, but you will end up climbing 800 feet on a rope ladder while wearing flip flops to see a ceremonial cave you couldn’t care less about. Or even worse, there might be snakes or lizards.

Is it not enough that you agreed to backpack across this country? Does he not realize how many sacrifices you have made? All the packing involved. No wardrobe choices. No cute outfits. No flat iron and only one pair of ugly walking shoes. All I wanted to do was see the pretty Cinderella castle, but now we are wandering around the woods, lost in a foreign country and for once the human GPS doesn’t know how to get us out of here. Of course it is raining and, while I slept on a train and didn’t get a shower after that, this is not at all cleansing and refreshing.

He has no idea how terrified I am. I’m not scared of being lost, but of the lizards and the snakes. Every few feet – okay, I know I am here on the metric system but I can’t do the conversion right now so let’s just say every few steps – something runs or slithers across the path and I quietly want to die.

Sure I am bigger than them – the ones I can see, anyway. Who knows what’s out there that I can’t see. And, yes I know they are more afraid of me – but I have on these very ugly opentoed shoes and I hate snakes and lizards.

He is ahead of me on the path, forging the way, trying to figure out how he is going to get us out of here and back to the castle. He thinks I am being quiet and sweet and supportive and non-judgemental. A good little hiker! Little does he know. This is some vacation.

The Pastor found our way out of that forest, but this isn’t the only time he has gotten me lost in the wilderness. Before he came along, I went to church. I was a good little Christian girl. Not only did I know where my Bible was, I read it and I believed in heaven. I was found.

But then he led me through the woods until I was lost. The guy who is responsible for teaching and preaching The Word taught the one person closest to him to disbelieve. I unlearned everything I thought I knew about God – everything I had learned on those felt boards in Sunday School. No sea parted. No one turned into a pillar of salt. No one got burned. Turns out, it’s all literature! If I’m going to believe in literature, I think I’ll stick with Harry Potter or those vampire books. Those vampires are sexier than Jesus.

Not only is my Bible lost, so am I.

This much I know about God: if you piss her off you will end up wandering around for 40 years not accomplishing anything. If you don’t piss God off, you may end up wandering around with no purpose anyway – just with better shopping and restaurant choices. If you talk to snakes, you’ll end up getting the curse of pain in childbirth.

This much I know about the Pastor – if you stick with him he may get you lost in the woods and upset your entire belief system, but you still get to go to Europe.

And, if you bring your own snacks, there’s no way you’ll be tempted by a piece of fruit.

Carrie S. Martin lives with the Pastor and their three kids in the Bible Belt. Her wild side? Oh, she thought that was her conscience. It says eat the cupcake, wear the sparkly green eye shadow, push-up bra and killer heels.

Issue 19

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 19, Fall 2010, The Wild issue.

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Issue 19, Fall 2010

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