Sunday, May 16, 2010

Got clothes?

She stood, casually chatting with a friend in the street behind our offices. It was not her looks that attracted attention. She was good looking, without a doubt. It was her posture. It bespoke an attitude about her life, her worldview. Insouciant, cavalier, without concern. Proud of her looks and charms.

What struck me as ironic was the fact that she would have never stood that way if she had no clothes on. She would have been less carefree, and more concerned with her nakedness. Much as you and I would be if we knew how naked we really are.

You see – her stance, her attitude reflected what so many of us think about ourselves. We are comfortable in the conceit that once we have clothes on, nothing matters. Our “selves” – at least our bodies – are invisible. Unless we choose to expose our bodies, no one can see what we are like. What we choose to wear provides only a glimpse of the person underneath.

What we do not realize is that we really are naked. Our credit limit at Nordstrom or our eye for fashion means little to God. Regardless of how we try to disguise ourselves, He sees right through to the core of who we are. He sees the Truth of who we are. He sees the Reality of who we are. Moreover, He sees exactly what we need and He has provided it. His concern is for our nakedness in His presence, not for His ability to cover our nakedness and shame.

You know what is interesting? He is not repulsed by our nakedness. He does not hide Himself from us in our most embarrassing moments in life. When we’re exposed, He covers us.

I remember my son’s first efforts to dress himself when he was little. He knew he needed clothes and he knew where they were. His first appearance before Mom, fully dressed for the first time – all by himself – brought a chuckle. The intent was right, but so much else was not quite right. Colors. Buttons. Belt. Socks. Size. But all that mattered little. My wife scooped him into her arms and carried him back to his room for some much-needed assistance.

The Father does the same for us. God could be angry with our attempts to do it ourselves, but He is not. He is saddened at our efforts to always try to do it ourselves; He is compassionate in providing what we need, not just to cover our shame, but to remove it. And He is willing. Willing to remind us of our nakedness and our inability to cover ourselves. Willing to remind us He can dress us and that only He can take away our shame, not just cover it up. So let us put on Christ.

If she had only known. If she had only understood. Then, she would really experience a carefree insouciance, a care-less-ness born of the knowledge of God’s love, His mercy, His forgiveness.

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