Of the multitudes of biblical interpretations, “crafty” is my personal favorite describing the lowly yet tenacious serpent of Genesis fame. My heart goes out to this poor, godforsaken creature, whose fate as the most reviled, most vertically challenged of animals was decided by a slip of his forked tongue. Why would God create such a beast to grovel for all eternity? Why bother dreaming up something imperfect just to turn right around and chastise the imperfections you created in the first place? A Robin Hood of sorts myself, I identify with the serpent that, I am quite certain, simply couldn’t resist sharing the wealth. How could he lay idly by when an abundance of delectable, fruitful knowledge was ripening on the vine?
I imagine that he later conveyed his thoughts on the incident to Eve.
Woman! The old adage that ignorance is bliss ain’t as blissful as it’s cracked up to be. Knowledge, you see, is POWER. Be bold, Eve; your gender will thank you for it! Tis better to die on your feet than live on your knees! Take it from someone who has no knees. I read somewhere (yes, snakes do read) that success is going from one failure to the next without losing momentum. The lesson itself is possible only when we give ourselves permission to screw up once in a while. I applaud you all the same for being your own person and questioning authority. Think of God as the overprotective parent who doesn’t always give credit where credit is due. The most important gift a parent can bestow is the instilling of some critical thinking skills, so that one doesn’t always take everything one hears at face value (we will get into free will later). God can only push you out of the proverbial nest and hope for the best. Adam may need a little egging on to try out a new way of approaching life, but that’s only because men are creatures of habit. On a side note, pretending that you are deathly afraid of me will only make him feel more masculine when he whips out the garden shovel in an attempt to protect you. Fear not, I am swift and agile.
There is something that’s been eating away at me, so I may as well get it out in the open. What’s the big deal with nudity anyhow? Why would God create such a snazzy birthday suit in the first place if he didn’t want us to flaunt it? Look at me! I’m stark naked, day in and day out, and I have not one stitch of shame. I know that you are humans and all, but let us animals teach you a thing or two about letting it all hang out. First of all, we have no pockets. No pockets, hence no possessions and no keys to misplace. Second, picking out what to wear on a daily basis is such a massive waste of time: you get bogged down with what does or does not make your butt look fat. Trust me on this. There are so many more important things to focus on in life, plus we are in Paradise, which is always a pleasant 73 degrees.
And why did you throw me under the bus? Understandably, God can be pretty intimidating, but remember he loves us all no matter what, or at least he will once his son comes along. I am now destined to slither on my belly from this day forth, but let me let you in on a little secret: life is pretty awesome as a snake. I can effortlessly glide across water, like Jesus (I’ll explain later), and I never have to stress out over expensive dental work. I just unhinge my jaws, and down the hatch it goes! And the very best part of all: I shed this getup for a brand new look each season. I don’t like to rub it in God’s face, but life as a snake is pretty darn fantastic.
In closing, I would really like to take this time to apologize for God’s slight overreaction. I am really trying not to be critical here, but the sooner you realize your parents aren’t perfect the better. Look at the bright side—you’ll never look at childbirth in the same way again. Women do it every day, and the bond you’ll have with that baby will blow away the memory of excruciating pain like a candle in a windstorm. And as far as your husband goes, again, let him think he rules over you, because sometimes it’s just easier to think things were his idea.
I hope this pep talk has been helpful to you, Eve. It is important that we keep this communication open, because when our lives get busy and bogged down in the daily minutiae, you will look back fondly on those simpler times, when creation was just getting going. Honestly, if I had it to do all over, I wouldn’t change a thing about what I did. There is something beautiful about vulnerability, and I wanted you both to see it for yourselves. It means your heart is open, and because of it you will always risk getting hurt. But what is the alternative? As I said, ignorance is rarely bliss, in all reality. Fear can be a good thing, but please don’t dare be ashamed of yourselves. This will only lead to personal insecurity and ginormous bills from your therapist. Yes, Adam has pointed his finger, but accept that he is imperfect. There is no such thing as perfection, and those who strive for it are frankly quite boring.
Robin Queen is a graduate of a Christian university, from which she received a nursing degree with honors. The above article is adapted from an essay she wrote for a creative writing class. She received an A for the course.