Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You don't look like a priest

She said, as I held my bottle of wine and (shockingly) my opinion. She punched a few more buttons on the cash register as she continued to chat away about how she'd never seen a girl priest before and didn't know there were female priests and oh, can you marry?
No, I tell her, but I can date.
She tells me to have a nice day. Apparently, irony is also something she's never seen before, either.
I check my reflection in the rear-view mirror. What does a priest look like? Maybe they don't historically wear lipstick and mascara, at least in public, but they do now. Many priests I know have preacher bellies (a friend's observation; not mine). I'm vain enough to admit I workout and count points to avoid that particular attribute. I wonder if the "don't look like" means, "Geez! You have breasts!" Maybe. Maybe not.
Do priests look holy, like Julie Andrews at her wedding in The Sound of Music? Do they look kind and unassuming, a sort of Wilfred Brimley meets your grandmother? A few priests I know have dreadlocks. One has facial piercings. Most look like they watch college football games and mow their lawns on Saturday, in between writing sermons and caring for the dying. A few scare me - Botox in men saying the Eucharist is just wrong.
Priests look like us, and we look like God, according to the line in Genesis. You don't look like God, I catch myself thinking as I see a pundit delivering a political opinion somewhere south of reflective and intelligent. You don't look like God either, we think as we see someone who is so other we might think we hate them.
But oh yes, they do.

1 comment:

Kirstin said...

Saw this link on a Facebook page--I love it.

(I'm in my last semester at CDSP, God help me.)