Thu 05 Jun
City Light: Thursday, June 5
Adam and Eve stood naked in the Garden of Eden, and they stood unashamed. This is the final picture we are left with before the Fall of Man, of husband and wife joined in solidarity and a significant lack of clothing. Although this picture may seem awkward or crude to our modern minds, there is something profoundly beautiful in the couple's nakedness. Humanity began with these two individuals who felt no urge to hide themselves from each other or to make themselves any different from how God made them. Adam and Eve's nakedness represents an unflinching honesty and vulnerability. And their first reaction to the entrance of sin into the world was to cover themselves with fig leaves and clothe themselves in shame.
God's original intent for the human race was not meant to be a community of people hiding their true selves from each other. We live in a world where the fig leaves have become masks that we use to guard our real identity under the guise of a false one. It has become so natural for us to create a false image of ourselves rather than embrace the idea that we bear God's image, and He created us the way that we are for a reason. Our reluctance to show ourselves naked will always be traced back to that original sin, and the power we give sin today.
Sin, and its cousin pain, have this powerful ability to isolate each one of us, and demand that we withdraw into ourselves. With sin, it is the thought that “I am an unclean sinner, and people would be shocked to hear what I've done”. With pain, it is the thought that “I am a damaged individual, and people would never understand what I've been through”. These two thoughts continue in a cycle of self-inflicting wounds which only lead to more isolation. Along with that isolation, comes the desire to become someone else so much more that the fig leaves start to stick to our skin, even though they start to hurt.
Never forget this: There is no sin that you can ever commit that will take away Christ's love for you, and no suffering that He does not understand. In Romans 5:8, Paul tells us that Christ's love is so unconditional and great that He died for us even when we were still sinners. Even as the spears pierced Christ's sides, He was forgiving those who held them. The pain that Christ went through, He went through so that He could understand what we are going through. Because when we hit rock bottom we can trust the fact that Christ has been there too. Christ doesn't want us to withdraw, He wants us to reveal all our suffering to a greater community.
The Church, of all places, needs to be somewhere where we can take off the fig leaves and be naked. We need to embrace each other for our weaknesses, our pain, and our sins. We need to be vulnerable with each other, with ourselves and with God. We need to be so honest that it hurts. Only through this nakedness can we truly come to love each other, for it is impossible to love someone without knowing someone.
When the fig leaves first leave your body, its going to be hard. A lot of things will be revealed that will leave you scared and in pain. Realizing your brokenness is a painful process, but there is so much beauty in the broken. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and its time to show the world. So tear off those leaves and show everyone, including yourself, who God created you to be. Stand naked and stand unashamed.
Sean is a graduating secondary school student, kidmax teacher, school bible study leader and, most importantly, adopted son of God. He works at Longo's grocery store in Oakville, where he also lives with his family of five. Sean wants to see God restoring the brokenness of the world through the church, and social justice become an everyday reality.