Good and Naked

I’m pretty glad we wear clothes, and not just because they cover up a lot of things I’d rather not see.

However, if Adam and Eve were created naked, “and it was good,” why do we get dressed every day?

Adam and Eve were created in God’s image. All of their nakedness was perfection to Him and mirrored Himself. It’s a little strange to consider, but when Adam and Eve looked at each other relative to the rest of creation, it was obvious that they looked like their Father, their creator.

We often recall that the immediate consequence of their sin was clothing. They scrambled for fig leaves until God gave them a more permanent dressing of animal skins. But they had been naked all along. How could that have been sinful in itself?

I image that Satan curled slippery around the trunk of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. “You won’t surely die,” he whispered. “But God knows you will become like Him knowing good and evil.” There it was, Satan told Eve that God had lied, He really hadn’t made them like Himself. He really wasn’t a benevolent Father offering to them all that they could ever desire. 

Adam and Eve had been naked all along, nakedness wasn’t a sin. How did identifying their nakedness become the shame inducing moment that sent them running to hide from God?

“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”

In the seconds it took them sink their God-given teeth into the skin of a sweet fruit, the gravity of their choice hit them, painfully. The serpent had lied, they really did look like God. God really had made them in His image. It wasn’t that being naked was evil and they simply figured it out all of a sudden. No, the evil that they instantly became aware of was their decision to believe someone other God. They doubted the goodness and truth of their best friend.

Jesus calls Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life. Adam and Eve denied the very essence and nature of their Father.

He isn’t truth, they thought.

Adam and Eve first clothed themselves. They used it to cover their shame. And so, I believe that it was out of mercy that God clothed them.

Imagine a master potter. His choicest piece of clay spinning smoothly beneath his fingers. When He finishes, he sets the masterpiece in the center of His daily table, pleased with its beauty. One day, a mischievous child intentionally reaches up and throws the beautiful piece to the floor. The potter is crushed. It saddens Him to know its intended perfection and to now see it in shambles. So He picks up the pieces and gently, lovingly covers them with his cloak – clothing the shards.

Maybe that’s what God was doing – until the moment when He restores all of His creation to its original goodness.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,a we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3

 

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Project 333, Here We Come!

This was not supposed to be an expensive venture. But isn’t that often the way with green things?

We decide to recycle more – so we have to buy color-coded, pretty recycle bins. We want to buy cleaner water so now we find ourselves making bi-weekly trips to the water store to fill up our monstrous plastic jugs – quite a bit more costly than the tap water we still use for other things. Now we can’t buy just any ordinary plastic, but it has to be the pricey PBA free, or glass. So also began my new adventure with downsizing my closet as a participant in Project 333.

Sunday, I decided to separate the nice from the spotted, the comfy from the frumpy and the wearables from the “I forgot I had those.” It was a quickly discouraging process. I have very few neutral clothes, very few interchangeable pieces, very few pieces that can be worn anywhere. Now I sound like the very lie I’m trying to refute, “I don’t have anything to wear!”

Within about two hours, Sunday afternoon, I had pared myself down to about 35 items. I decided I’m not going to be legalistic about this.

(That’s not a cop-out!) The whole point is to minimize not only my closet but my stress and my spending and my self-absorption. I decided not to include my heavy coats in my tally. I chose not to count my shoes and necklaces and certainly not my underwear and socks.

Aren’t you proud of me? I didn’t have to confess that!

I was also amazed at how many of my things have small spots, tiny holes and irregularities. Please don’t get the idea that I look threadbare and shabby all the time! But if I’m only going to have 33 items to chose from, I don’t want 17 of them to have imperfections. Maybe I need a few new items and to discard some of the old? We’ll talk about that later.

It is kind of exciting. There’s a funny thrill is discovering what I can live without. I think it will also be fun at the end of this month, to switch out my 33 items. It will be like shopping from my own closet!

For the time being, I took all my not-to-be-worns, and packed them away in a suitcase and closed the door to the guest room. Poor Brave thought I was moving out!

 

Off the top of your head, what’s the ONE item in your closet that you would pick first – the one item you couldn’t live without?

Sweetly Scarred

Scars! I cried.

Holes and Marks.

Wounds of shame,

Mar this tiny heart.

Daddy, I stretched my arms

Above my head, above my heart

and mind.

Pick me up, take me away.

I’m no good anymore.

Cocktail of fear, shame and pride

Sloshes willfully in my chest.

Overflows in tears.

Frustration paints my cheeks.

Daddy stepped close,

Stern love in His eyes.

He held out a robe.

Over my pleading arms it slipped,

Soft as silk against shame-flamed skin.

Every bruise soothed by its whisper-smooth trace.

He met my eyes, held my hands.

I see no scars.

No marks or holes.

I see beauty, perfection, exquisite, effective holiness.

No one will ever recognize you now.

You look just like Jesus,

Dressed in His raiment.

Walk your streets.

His cloak will heal you, keep you.

His righteousness will dress you.

Disguised, go out.

In our image, I created you.

For now,

For this.

I love you, you’re beautiful.

Blast! It’s February Already!

I’ve so many ideas for February, but I’d be lying if I told you that I had any idea where to go with them! Every quiet time I have with Jesus, every poignant conversation with friends, every glance at a headline, every jot and tiddle in my journal begs to be a new blog post. I just hope I can keep track of all the scraps of thoughts long enough to weave them into some interesting fodder for your thought.

For the first full week of the month, I have to get some stuff of my chest. C.S. Lewis says, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” I think the same is true of love. In order to fully love Jesus, and to fully praise Him, I have to share what I love about Him.

Lately, I’ve been discovering some things about being holy. My sisters and I have recently started a Skype-ing, Precepts Bible study. We are studying “Living Like You Belong To God.” In just 40 tiny minutes per week, God is revealing nuggets of gold. Do you wonder if you can ever become completely comfortable with God? Can you regard Him with reverence and as your Daddy at the same time? What does that have to do with being holy?

We’ll look at some other questions:

Can you really be an introverted Christian?

Do you have any alters in your life?

The second week, I think I’ll bring you into my bedroom. That sounds bad! What I mean, is that I’ll allow you to watch my experiment with Project 333. I’m afraid it’s going to be a fiasco, but hey, you never know until you try! I’d love it if you want to do it with me, misery loves company!

It’s funny, I really do wear the same things over and over, but somehow it’s nice just knowing that variety is available. Honestly, when I read this lady’s list of what she’s wearing, 33 items goes a long way.

Also, we’re in the process of upgrading all things WordPress so that I can include video and audio for you. You might even get to watch me winnow out my closet!

So, we’ve taken care of February, week 2.

And lastly, you’ve heard me mention Moody Radio and Publishers hundreds of times. You also know that I read Table Talk, by Ligonier Ministries. Sooner or later, it will no longer catch me by surprise that God weaves all His teachings through my days so seamlessly. Both of these resources have been highlighting the catechisms. Do you know what those are? During the fourth full week of February, I will review the book

The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism, by Kevin DeYoung.

And then we have one final partial week before we stomp into March! March! March! Since I expect my head to be spinning with the spiral of time’s dial, and my minutes slipping through like hourglass sand, we will just celebrate the progressive nearness of Christ’s return through poetry.

So that’s it, that’s February in a wrap! See you there!