The Tapeworm Gallery: Empty

       Your Bible is just where I like it—on your nightstand covered in dust. You have power to make me flee. Yet you never do. What I want most of yours He won’t let me have. So I’ll settle for your time and attention.

            You make it so easy I can hardly take credit for it, though. By the way, your nail polish is chipping again. And time to redo the extensions on those perfectly normal eyelashes. Because every forty-year-old woman deserves the dark lush lashes of a teenager. Who cares what Mark says? They look natural to me. Besides, letting a non-medically trained kid approach your eyes with sharp objects sounds like a great way to blow hundreds of dollars.  So on with your monthly obsessions.

            And how about that bathroom and kitchen tile? They look about as good as your toenails. I see you payed off your car—just in time for your neighbor, Ms. Mercedes, to get her new S-class. Hey, I heard about the promotion and raise. Congratulations. You deserve it. Well…not really. I give it six months before your boss notices you’re not as smart as you let on. Can’t say I will hate all the extra hours you’ll put into trying to prove you’re not as inept as you feel. Get ready for those ten-minute lunchbreaks at your desk—and more business trips. Speaking of travel, I guess you’ll have to postpone the family trip to Sorrento and Amalfi with all the new accounts you’ll have to work. No worries. The Limoncello can wait. Not like you rest on vacation anyway. At least the extra cash will come in handy for all your “incidentals.” Now that you’re an exec, you can get those red-bottomed shoes you’ve had your eyes on—just another effective way to fill the void in your soul.

            Just kidding. You won’t have time to enjoy that extra cash. May as well let the nanny have it. You’re going to need her to move in so she can pick up your slack. After those 60+ hour work weeks, you’ll want nothing but to kick off those red-bottoms and fall into bed. And your only Friday night prayer will be that Mark won’t want sex…again. Ugh! With him travelling for work two weeks a month leaving you to run the house, the least he could do is not want sex from you.

            But you and Mark do it for the kids. They win in all of this. Never mind that you only see the tops of their heads at the dinner table while they build real relationships on Facebook and Instagram. Their selfies scream, “Look at me. My parents never do. They have emails to check.” More anxiety. More depression. More behavioral issues. No worries. The doc can just up their dosages. Jesus calls out in the midst of the buzz. But who can hear him with ringing cell phones and Lester Holt in the background?  

            The doorbell rings. Ms. Mercedes in a vomit-scented t-shirt begs you to watch her sick toddler while she runs to CVS for the baby’s medication. “So sorry. Late for accountability,” you tell her. But we both know this is code for Wednesday Night Christian Gossip. Who needs authentic sharing about your ailing failing family life when you can spill about all the train wrecks in your church?

            I know I can’t keep you out of church. But I can keep church out of you. I’ve got your focus right where I want it. On the incidentals. Empty dreams. Empty life. Empty hope. Empty soul. Jesus will give you all you need. But I’d rather you run on Empty. 

Warning: The faint-hearted should proceed with caution. The Tapeworm Gallery has as its main character, Tapeworm, a demon out to undermine Christian women. Inspired by Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, this fiction satire series exposes the author's interpretation of what a demon might say to a Christian audience. With data collected from current events, the news, articles, theological study, and face-to-face interviews to uncover context and paradigm, the author feels the blog practically writes itself. Enjoy and please comment.

Blessings, Salma

American-born Salma Gundi graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2017 with a Masters in Biblical and Theological Studies. Salma has a passion for leading women, and has led women's Bible studies, and multiple small groups for women who grew up in dysfunctional homes. Salma enjoys speaking at women's events, and is known by the catchphrase, "Stop faking the funk—start keeping it real." She hopes to continue ministering to women through writing, speaking, and teaching. Salma, who grew up in California miles from the Pacific Beaches, came to saving faith in 1991 after a Campus Crusade for Christ Creation vs Evolution debate. The (unofficial) black sheep of her family, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Feather Ruffling. Her consanguineous relatives consume a strict vegetarian diet, and were it not for lobster with lemon butter sauce, she would do the same. Salma's husband is a psychotherapist, and also at graduate of DTS.