The last post described the way most, if not all of us function. It is interesting to notice how spot on some of the lyrics are in an Emeli Sandè song, her duet with Labyrinth called ‘Beneath your beautiful’. Here are some of the lyrics…”You’ve built your wall so high, that no one can climb it”….”Behind your Broadway show, I heard a boy say, ‘Please don’t hurt me’. The chorus asks, “Would you let me see beneath your beautiful? Would you let me see beneath your perfect?” With no apostrophe in your, the song asks to see behind, underneath what is being projected.
So far in these posts we have highlighted what we do, the barriers we erect, the masks we wear. We have highlighted some of the reasons why we do this, what we are afraid of, a sense of shame we might have, a desire to be accepted and seen as OK.
What I want to do now, is consider a particular diagnosis, one that seems to make a lot of sense when you think about it. Nakedness is something that we are familiar with, both in our personal daily existence and through the media world we live in. We are confronted with nakedness in books, TV programmes, films etc. Some of us are comfortable with nakedness and some less so. It is surprising to see that nakedness is a key factor in the first 3 chapters of the Bible. These chapters portray a God who is sovereignly in control as the world, sun, moon and stars are set in place. God is portrayed as the maker, giver and sustainer of human life. God makes people to rule the earth and to enjoy an intimate friendship with him. The first people know him, are fully known by him, they are accepted by him. This is where the Bible states that they were naked and felt no shame.
The nakedness here is physical but notice how it is linked to relationship with God and each other. At this stage they experience no shame. The consequence of this is that they feel no need to cover up, no need to hide anything of who they are from God their creator or other human beings. They are not worrying about the thoughts of others, not pretending to be someone they are not; there is a peace in knowing and being fully known by a perfect Father.
In Genesis 3 we are told of human rebellion. The instructions of a loving God are thrown off as the first people seek their independence, they want to make their own decisions and they think life their way will be better. The Bible has much to say on this but it is striking that at this point in the narrative we are told that they immediately realised they were naked and made coverings for themselves. Suddenly people are aware of their own nakedness and the response is to cover up. Once again this is a physical thing but it goes far beyond the physical. As God re-enters the scene their response now, is to hide and when asked why they hid, their reply is that they were afraid because they were naked.
The diagnosis of the human condition is that we hide from our Creator and our fellow human beings because we are aware of our nakedness, we fear being seen and so we hide. This plays out in all of our relationships in one way or another. The ultimate reason for our problem is a breakdown in our relationship with our Creator and Father and so ultimately the solution to who we are and how we relate to others must lie in the fixing of our relationship to our God and Father. More to come.
Chris Smith, 01/03/2018