Monday, April 11, 2011

You Are Not Naked

You clicked on this because it said "naked", didn't you?

That's alright! While reading one of my old favorite blogs, Playing Grown-Up, I was lead to a new, lovable blog called Stuff Christians Like, which is a parody of Stuff White People Like.

I've been reading Stuff Christians Like for about a week now, and it's great! It basically just pokes fun at some of the things Christians do. All Jon Acuff's posts are great, but the best two entries are the same two featured on PGU.

Stuff Christians Like #106 - The Side Hug 
Yes, God wants us to be compassionate and kind and tender with each other. Not only that, but he wants us to love our enemies and serve our neighbors. As long as there is no body on body action. I’m talking of course about a “full frontal hug,” one of those sinful abominations where you just wrap your arms around a friend and embrace them. That’s why Christians the world over have pioneered the “side hug.” In the side hug there’s no risk of two crotches touching. Instead of face to face, you go side to side, putting your arm around the person and your hip against their’s. Still having a hard time mastering it? Pretend you’re taking a photo and you’re both looking at the camera together. The side hug, or A frame as it is also called, is safe for the whole family, friendly and above all holy. I don’t know the exact scripture reference but try the book of Psalms.

See what I mean?! Funny funny church people!

But this next one really hit on some of the issues I've been dealing with lately and I don't believe I'm the only one.

Stuff Christians Like #512 - Thinking You're Naked
I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty awesome at applying band-aids. And make no mistake, there is an art. Because if you go too quickly and peel them the wrong way, they stick to themselves and you end up with a wadded up useless mess instead of the Little Mermaid festooned bandage your daughter so desperately wants to apply to a boo boo that may in fact be 100% fictional.
Half of the injuries I treat at the Acuff house are invisible or simply wounds of sympathy. My oldest daughter will scrape her knee and my 3-year old, realizing the band aid box is open will say, “Yo dad, I’d like to get in on that too. What do you say we put one on, I don’t know, my ankle. Yeah, my ankle, let’s pretend that’s hurt.”
But sometimes the cuts are real, like the day my 5-year old got a scrape on her face playing in the front yard. I rushed in the house and returned with a princess bandage. As I bent down to apply it to her forehead, her eyes filled up with tears and she shrunk back from me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I don’t want to wear that band-aid.” She replied.
“Why? You have a cut, you need a band-aid.” I said.
“I’ll look silly.” She answered.
Other than her sister and her mom, there was no one else in the yard. None of her friends were over, cars were not streaming passed our house and watching us play, the world was pretty empty at that moment. But for the first time I can remember, she felt shame. She had discovered shame. Somewhere, some how, this little 5 year old had learned to be afraid of looking silly. If I was smarter, if I had been better prepared for the transition from little toddler to little girl, I might have asked her this:
“Who told you that you were silly?”
I didn’t though. That question didn’t bloom in my head until much later and I didn’t understand it until I saw God ask a similar question in Genesis 3:11. To me, this is one of the saddest and most profoundly beautiful verses in the entire Bible. Adam and Eve have fallen. The apple is a core. The snake has spoken. The dream appears crushed. As they hide from God under clothes they’ve hastily sewn together, He appears and asks them a simple question:
“Who told you that you were naked?”
There is hurt in God’s voice as He asks this question, but there is also a deep sadness, the sense of a father holding a daughter that has for the first time ever, wrapped herself in shame.
Who told you that you were not enough?
Who told you that I didn’t love you?
Who told you that there was something outside of me you needed?
Who told you that you were ugly?
Who told you that your dream was foolish?
Who told you that you would never have a child?
Who told you that you would never be a father?
Who told you that you weren’t a good mother?
Who told you that without a job you aren’t worth anything?
Who told you that you’ll never know love again?
Who told you that this was all there is?
Who told you that you were naked?
I don’t know when you discovered shame. I don’t know when you discovered that there were people that might think you are silly or dumb or not a good writer or a husband or a friend. I don’t know what lies you’ve been told by other people or maybe even by yourself.
But in response to what you are hearing from everyone else, God is still asking the question, “Who told you that you were naked?”
And He’s still asking us that question because we are not.
In Christ we are not worthless.
In Christ we are not hopeless.
In Christ we are not dumb or ugly or forgotten.
In Christ we are not naked.
Isaiah 61:10 it says:
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.
The world may try to tell you a thousand different things today. You might close this post and hear a million declarations of what you are or who you’ll always be, but know this.
As unbelievable as it sounds and as much as I never expected to type this sentence on this blog:
You are not naked.

picture from here.