“So what brings you to Seminary, Hermana Veronica?”
My advisor, professor of two of my classes and quite possibly the nicest human I have encountered to this day, asked me with the biggest smile that just radiated joy.
Usually this level of enthusiasm and love of God would have sickened me. Maybe I didn't have the energy to hate him or maybe his kindness and faith was just too intoxicating to allow hate to breathe around him.
“Well, I used to believe.
And the goodness of God.
And then my mom died.
And she suffered.
And now we are all suffering.
And I'm super pissed.
Oh, sorry, can I say pissed in here?
And, well, I just don't see the goodness of God. And the world is kinda just like falling apart. There is tragedy everywhere. More and more everyday. And He's either causing it or allowing it and either way I'm super pissed.
Oh sorry, you never said if the word pissed was okay in here?
And the biggest thing, I guess, is...well me and Him (I point to the ceiling because everyone knows that's where God lives) me and Him...we have unfinished business.
And I'm here to get to the bottom of it all.”
I took a deep breath, bit my lip to hold back my tears and grabbed my purse in preparation of being thrown out.
Pastor Mireles, didn't flinch or lose his smile or even squint his eyes, not even a tiny bit.
In fact I think I almost saw more joy enter his soul if that was even possible.
“Very well Hermana Veronica. We are so happy to have you. May I pray with you right now?”
And that's how I enrolled in seminary. And everyday since that day I've felt like a heathen when I walk through the doors.
I've gone to every effort to be legit and give it my all. I quit smoking pot and I even broke up with my beloved martini. (The vodka companies did not take that well but I felt it was a necessary change.)
For classes I even change out of my favorite purple long johns, put on a bra and dress in my nicest dresses and skirts and blouses.
I put effort into my hair.
But still I feel out of place. Because like my hair, my emotions cannot be tamed.
Everyone there is... dare I say it... happy. Yuck. No, more than that... joyful. And in training to become ministers and pastors and missionaries. Honestly I can't even hear the word missionary without my gutter of a mind going over boring but necessary positions in sex.
I don't belong here. Just another of God's little jokes.
I don't belong in the world of functioning society. I don't belong in the light, in the health food section of a grocery store, at celebrations or gyms or parks or anything that requires bathing and deodorant and feeling normal on any level.
I belong in dark dive bars, smoking cigars and drinking cheap whisky while babbling on about the good ole days and cursing the world for all that it has become. But, alas, I don't smoke cigars. And even if I did, smoking isn't even allowed indoors these days, so again, another example of this cruel cruel world mocking me.
So I've been trudging on, class after class... Programmed to my best robot mode. Doing my best impression of a human.
I was floating through every class getting by on my street smarts.
(Okay I have no street smarts but I'm pretty smart in general.)
And my writing skills really help me bullshit my way through a lot of assignments. So I was doing okay.
Except for one of my classes with Professor Mireles.
We have quizzes everyday and I kept bombing them over and over.
No matter how much I studied or read the assigned material I just kept bombing them.
So one day, I decided to up my game. I decided to arrive early to class.
And that was the day that everything changed...
I believe in you.
You can do anything.
You are greatly loved.