Monday, October 29, 2012

Naked Glory and All

It is cold and I crouch down atop a rock in the cover of the bush. I live in the shadow and no one sees me. Sweat drips down my cheek. Darkness conceals my figure so I linger a while.

The orange and red and yellow crunch beneath my steps. As secret as I try to be, my costume is unmasked but their ears are blind in the dark. My breath is heavy and my adrenaline fully alive. They don’t recognize the leaves crunching or my steps getting closer. The night sky is lit as the ball glows a little too brilliant to hide me.

I wear the brush and tall grass a disguise and I think of Eve in the garden. I feel the weight and I am so thankful it is not mine to bear and yet I do so often. Even under my layers of fabric I feel a little shame, even now.

They pass in squeals and whispers and I crouch down low to the dirt. I came from the rib that came from this ground and laying here I remember. The shame distracted by purpose. That rib had a purpose and now so do I. Oh glory!

I wait. Wait for it. Breathe. In and Out. The seconds counted with pulse and my mission is sure. I linger in the dark a bit longer.

Then, finally. They hit the dock and I take off running...

Okay, maybe it wasn't so movie like. Maybe it was more stumbling my way through the dark woods with a great limp on my left and adrenaline thrusting my body into some summersault of forward motion. I trip and rise and the prickles wedge beneath my flesh but none of it matters because my mission is light and the end is getting brighter.

Along the way there is a clamor of screams as their skin splashes across that cold water and then silence.

They are under and drowning in the rush of nakedness beneath the lake and I think they are being set free down there. Chains unlatched and shame unscrewed as I watch the fig leaves float away. I remember and I want it. Heads begin to bob and arms are reaching and voices are raised with praise as their breath filters in puffs through the cold air.

My feet tap across the dock and I make a clean sweep for the towels and a shoe lingers somewhere too. A few are pulling up onto the dock now all clothed in glory and I pivot and run back into the darkness, arms full as I am swallowed up once more.

I drop it all in the dirt just at the edge of the dock but they don't know it. I wanted to take it all the way back but that would be mean. And slightly hilarious. But this is enough.

I hear them, their heated whispers and scrambling shuffles as the panic spreads. The dock shakes some and I chuckle in the disguise behind the shadows. Success. Watching them realize they cannot cover up their nakedness brings me to the ground in laughter.  Soooooo funny.

And then the spirit touches me like a match to a wick and I get it, fire aflame deep inside because the enemy himself is just up that hill behind the tree laughing at me in the dark, the fool who wouldn't jump off that dock, the one who wouldn't strip down to my skin because the shame is too much to bear.

Because without fig leaves I want to hide in fear as I hear his footsteps gaining. Oh, I wish I could have jumped. 

Satan is the father of lies, a thief in the night and most of the time you wonder around in the dark just waiting for him to remind you of which tree you cannot eat, only so that you give yourself permission to take a big ole' chomp. You want to be like God on the outside but your heart is clothed in shame. He is sneaky and hides in the darkness, and yet his tactics are nothing new.

And so often that is me—too busy trying to free myself by covering up that I don't even hear the enemy prowling in the night. 

It is the reason that even under all these fall layers and brown boots, covered in color on my face and curls around my neck—even in these glory moments where I breathe in the fearful and wonderful of my making, even here I bear the weight of the shame because he is a thief in the night and I have missed his footsteps and let him steal my covering over and over again. 
We feel the weight of the apple and the nakedness and the shame. And so, we hide in the trees because it's safer then jumping in naked. I am thankful for this weekend with these sisters who jumped and joyfully watched their fig leaves float off into the morning rising. So thankful.

I deserve to return to dust and instead He makes me garments and clothes me in righteousness. Then He protects me from eating the apple of eternity, that someday I might be free from my shame, shame that ultimately He never intended for me to bear. He gives an end to the shame {a way out} and some day fig leaves will be a fashion of a life long past.

Too often, I forget that He made me a covering and gave me death that I might have eternity to wear it. 

And at the sound of His coming, let us not be found hiding in fear and covered in shame. Let's wear righteousness like a gown and maybe then the shame will fade as we endure on this earth,

and then one day soon dirt turned rib turned woman can be redeemed to naked glory and all.

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
(Genesis 3:21 ESV)

He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
(Genesis 3:24 ESV)

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