I gave her the quick once-over. Starting with her candy-apple red toenails in a pair of open-toed white alligators, my eyes travelled upwards past a designer linen suit and a green silk blouse to deep red lips that matched her toes. Pale green polish complemented the blouse. The blonde hair and brown eyelashes were definitely the highest quality of fake.
I was giving her an A+ for absolutely stunning–just as the introduction registered in the rightest part of my Adventist cerebrum. “This is Pastor Soandso’s wife.” Like Striples curling to crispy charcoal on an overheated griddle, I quickly retracted my grade. I now gave her a big fat F for pastoral modesty.
There’s nothing in the Bible or in the church manual that says a pastor’s wife should be dumpy, pale and enrobed in Walmart. So why was I judging her? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a result of generations of faulty Adventist wiring. Or maybe it’s because sticking people in pre-determined molds makes it easier to tell black from white, right from wrong. Or maybe it’s simply because I don’t see people through the lens of God’s grace and acceptance.
Eager to learn from my errors, I was full of gracious sincerity when I met her again the next day. She was wearing a short skirt whose main feature was a zipper on the backside that ran all the way from the hem to the very top.
But then, perhaps me describing her skirt reveals that my grace isn’t so sincere after all.