“God calls us, as He did Adam, to come out of hiding. No amount of spiritual makeup can render us more presentable to Him.” -Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
Totally exposed; completely bare; free.
For awhile now the clothes have been coming off, piece by piece, as I discover how bare I actually already am, and what it means to really be covered.
The first covering was given to Adam and Eve when they realized just how bare they were; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing; there was shame brought on by the fact that their sin was exposed. They were naked, and they knew it, and so they hid from the One who knew their nakedness before they did. For their sake, and out of His kindness, God covered them in a coat made of skin (Genesis 3:21). You don’t get skin without the kill. And so there it was, the first sacrifice, the spill of blood so that the people would be covered and their shame hidden.
And still we hide. Even though God knows every woven piece of our being, we hide. Our eyes are wide open to our failures, and so we cover because we don’t want to be found out. We give pretense and we try to be and do in order to be accepted and loved, but what we forget is that God sees past all of it; He’s sees our bare selves and He loves us anyway. We can’t be more or better and think that we will some how get closer or be more loved by God; He loves us in spite of ourselves. And yet, He offers a covering still. He offers a covering of blood so that will be free to walk with Him in the garden without shame or pretense or posturing.
He offers the opportunity for freedom.
Our new covering is on the inside, over our spirits, and it transforms us from being shackled to sin and frees us to stretch into our new selves without fear.
We don’t have to hide from God (this is actually impossible anyway), and we don’t have to hide from people (oh, this one is possibe, and quite frequent).
We are cracked and swollen and desperate. And He already knows our mess.
I’m saying, let’s be messy and honest. Let’s not try to super glue the cracks, but instead let the Holy Spirit work through them to bring light to a messy world. You can’t let your light shine if you try to patch up the cracks.
So here I am, losing my clothes, getting closer to naked. I wonder if this is really what sanctification is about? Not becoming more, but becoming less, until we are fully bare.
Covered yet naked. A gracious mystery that I am falling into. And it’s gloriously freeing.
“If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” -Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
I read this poem on a mother's blog whose six-year old daughter is losing her battle to brain cancer. This was sent to her by a follower and although it won't make things better for her, I pray that it brings her comfort in her most difficult days ahead.