I wake up early to make pancakes for the kids. Jesus shows up to breakfast a little later than usual. He kisses me on the cheek. I don’t look him in the eye.
He gives me a knowing look, but doesn’t say anything.
After dropping the kids off, he comes back home instead of heading to work. He finds me in the backyard, staring at the mountains surrounding our village. He stands beside me, gently taking my hand but not speaking.
Finally I turn to him. He takes my other hand as I gaze up through my lashes into his warm brown eyes. I speak.
“I want to come work with you.”
He smiles. Though a tear begins to course down his cheek. And I can feel the tension in his muscles.
In the conservative Christian circles I live in, we often talk about the war on marriage: how the laws of our culture must uphold the biblical pattern against those who would seek to redefine it.
While that may be true, we seem to be ignoring a painful reality. The church lost that same war decades ago: on the issue of divorce. Maybe we should take the time to understand why before we make the same mistakes all over again.
Oh Lord! How long must I wait? How long will you leave me in dismay?
The one I love has turned against me. Her teeth rip into my skin. Hard sticks break my bones.
Lord, I am not innocent in your eyes. Who can stand before your perfect justice? Who can measure up to your standards of holiness?
But I have humbled myself before God and man — and woman! I have searched my heart and confessed my sins against those who have wronged me. I have repaid good for evil, and forgiven those who plotted against me.
Lord, look down with mercy upon your servant, who trusts in you. You alone are my hope and salvation. I am like one struck dumb. All my words are turned against me.
I follow Jesus through the back wall of the temple, marching straight toward where the goddess awaits.
She is there, unsurprised by my presence. Beautiful, beyond all earthly beauty. A slight mysterious smile on her lips. She is wreathed in a flowing gown that enhances rather than conceals her perfect figure.
“Welcome back, Ernie. Are you here to worship?” she mouths seductively, as her gown fades to transparent.
He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”
The Woman smiled and said to the serpent, “Not at all. Actually, God did not tell me anything.”
The serpent was puzzled. “Wait, you mean you think you can eat from any tree in the garden?”
“Yes, that’s right,” she said, humming to herself as she sniffed a flower.
“This is too easy,” murmured the serpent. “Well then, have your tried the fruit from this tree here in the center? It is the best in the garden. In fact, it will make you smarter than your husband, as smart as God! You really need to experience it for yourself.”
The Woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.