I used to aim high. I enjoyed a challenge. Knitting? Here’s a funky Kafe Fasset sweater with 20 different colored yarns. Sewing? Yves Saint Laurent has some great patterns. Hey, Martha Stewart’s wedding cake only takes a week to make. And I did manage to accomplish some of the challenging things I attempted, (the cast-off sweater recently became a funky cushion).
Likewise when I became a follower of Christ. Who were the heroes? George Mueller, Jim Elliott, Francis Schaeffer? I read their biographies and fully expected my life to bear similar fruit. I was deeply disappointed when it did not. I was neither a great preacher, evangelist nor theolgian. In fact, I was having trouble being a halfway decent wife, mother and friend. This despite reading everything I could lay my hands on, seeking, studying and striving. (The unrealistic expectation I had of others, especially family, I’ll leave for another post).
It was years before I realized that God created me to be – me. In His hands my gifts, my passions, my personality dovetailed to glorify Him. The God whose creativity birthed the diversity of the universe – just think for a moment on the glorious array of birds, fish, flowers – that same God – created me – you – them – in His image – and He delights in us. (And like any father is most happy when his children get along.)
There has been so much freedom and joy in that revelation. After a lifetime of feeling that I didn’t measure up, wasn’t good enough, had no worth or value, couldn’t get it right – to discover that what God really wanted was for me to be me, created in His image, was a huge relief. Lots had to get stripped off and chipped away to get to that place. The masks discarded, idolatries cast down and a new identity – in Christ – embraced.
This title ‘Naked and Unashamed’ is a phrase describing Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall, from the book of Genesis.
Naked and Unashamed The pieces are falling in place. This morning, I remembered what Robert said that chill fall night we huddled on the mountain top, looking for Andromeda. I followed the directions, “About half-way between the last star in Cassiopeia and the upper-left star in Pegasus,” and he could see it easily. He said. “Don’t try so hard. Don’t look straight on. It's just a blur. Look left or right, you’ll see.” I cursed the old binoculars, the cold that made me shake, but never my intensity, my need. It had been my idea. It wasn’t fair. I sighed, “Eureka!” this morning in the shower. Because something is niggling in the corner of my spirit, and I think that it is you. I have been trying to find you for ever so long, reading books, learning rules, being ever so good. Practicing my righteousness before men. And you weren’t there. But something is niggling in the corner of my spirit and I think that it is you. This morning, I thought I heard you laughing. You weren't holding a subpoena, or a copy of the law. Your arms were open wide, to me your foolish girl, and I’m sure that you were laughing.
Do I sound like I think I have it all together? I sure hope not – because I don’t. Half the time I can’t find my glasses and lies still come at me daily. But, bottom line, I know my Father’s love. I am forgiven, accepted, loved, strengthened, at peace – and above all, grateful to be in Christ.
My aim these days is love – still high, but by His grace, a possibility.
4 thoughts on “Naked and Unashamed”
Brilliant, Lois. Your words touch me deeply and bring healing to this kindred heart.
“Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?”
It’s better when we travel together.
I wonder why it takes us so long to understand His love? Your poem is lovely.
Perhaps for those few who start their lives knowing they are unconditionally loved, there is not so much to undo. But for the other 99%…