“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame… Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Genesis 2:25, 3:7
When our first father and mother were first together in Eden, they were completely exposed to one another. They were physically naked, and, it seems safe to suppose, they were also naked to one another in their personalities and character. They weren’t ashamed to be so vulnerable to one another. Each was unafraid of being judged or rejected by the other. Can you imagine such a life with another person? It might seem like a fairy tale to people in this fallen world, but that was the first state of being for humans: perfect peace with God and each other.
So what brought that to a terrible end? To put it simply: sin, disobedience, and rebellion. After they both ate the fruit that had been forbidden by the Creator, “they realized they were naked.” This was the first effect of the knowledge that Eve was so eager to gain by eating the fruit. They came to know that they were exposed. They hid from one another behind fig leaves and then from God amidst the trees. No longer at perfect peace, humanity became marked by fear of being fully seen and known.
Have you ever had the undressed dream? You know the one in which you are out in some public place with people all around when you realize that you’re missing some very important clothing? You know the dread you’ve felt in that dream and that lingers when you first wake up? That’s the fear that was born in us so long ago in Eden, and it has never gone away.
Consider, now, Disciple, what has been offered to you by your Master Jesus. He has offered to wash away all that once shamed you. He has promised you a kingdom in which you can be fully exposed and fully known even while you’re fully accepted and welcomed. You’ve been brought into a family in which you and others are invited to put shame and hiding aside so that true community can be experienced. You have been drawn into the community of Father, Son, and Spirit.
As a part of this new covenant community, you’ve been called to confess your sins to others (James 5:16), share your burdens with them (Galatians 6:2), and stop acting like you’re someone that you’re not (i.e. hypocrisy – 1 Peter 2:1). This is the undoing of sin’s power over us. This is the restoration of peace with God and others. This is the good news!
Are you living out this invitation to vulnerability and exposure, Disciple? Have you found those brothers and sisters in Christ with whom you can lower your drawbridge, break down the walls, and be yourself without fear? If so, you know the sweetness of the new covenant life you’re meant to have. If not, I urge you to take that step of faith, trusting that your Master will lead you to those people who are worthy of such trust and who will love you enough to accept you as well as urge you on to becoming more like Jesus. Step out of fear and hiding and into the gospel life for which you’ve been reborn!
Ready to love and be loved in the light with you,