One thing that I enjoy about going out on Friday nights is that within the reality of suffering there is still space for laughter and enjoyment of each other, but this past week it was really hard for me to join in. I found myself quiet, contemplative, praying and praying and praying. We ran into “Jim*” and he was his usual self, ready with stories in hand to convince us that he was much tougher, smarter, more respected, better than maybe he even knew or believed himself to be. I found myself not wanting to participate in his stories, laugh at his jokes, be impressed with his desirability on the streets, though I have many times in the past. Instead I felt tired and sad by his need to cover his own brokenness with amusing tales.
Who told you that you were naked Jim? And who told you that the covering of your shame was good enough? Because God also wants to know “Did you eat from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” It’s a bit harder to cover the answer to this with some exaggerated tales or fig leaves, so let’s not.
I love that God asks Jim, me, and you. He’s not fazed by our shame or feeble attempts to mask it. He asks to allow us to face rather than be hidden in our shame. He asks to invite us to own and repent of our sin and separation rather than be suffocated under layers of shame. He asks to heal, restore and reconcile us to Him. He asks and he continues to ask. And in His kindness and mercy He provides the means, by way of His Son, by which we can answer and accept His invitation to come out from behind the trees, lay down our coverings and receive from Him.
*Name has been changed