A few weeks ago, I was at a friend’s cabin out in the wilderness of north-central PA. There were four of us in a near pristine setting and it was hard not to see and talk about God in such conditions. Being four men who considered themselves Christians, deep topics were not necessarily skirted around and eventually we came upon the topic of spiritual nakedness. I was more than willing to dive into the conversation, but I have not been able to emerge from it.
Here I am, two weeks later trying to mind my own business and not deal with the issue at hand, when it is presented smack dab in front of my face as I’m reading Donald Miller’s Searching for God Knows What. Except, the “it” that I’m referring to is the connecting piece that makes the topic of nakedness relevant and immediately pertinent in my life. As I’m reading the pages about Jesus’ love for people and his affirmation of these people, I began to tear up uncontrollably. Yes, pretty much any time a guy tears up, the word “uncontrollably” is superfluous, but I use it nonetheless. It hit me as I was reading that I had found the gaping hole in my faith. I know a fair amount of truth about God, but I do not embrace the fact that He loves me infinitely, the only way He knows.
My fear of not being loved is so great that I am paralyzed in my pursuit of being found naked in the presence of God. Hebrews 4:13 assures that there is nothing hidden from God, but I am so convinced that the parts of my soul I hide from everyone are in fact hidden from Him as well. I hide these parts because I feel they are ugly, vile and unlovable. Yet, Jesus’ entire life was spent telling the most unlovable people in society they were indeed lovable, even loved and deeply so.
What if instead of saying there is hope even in brokenness, we said there is hope especially in brokenness?
Brokenness is beautiful in God’s eyes. God found worth in us before He created the earth. He found worth in us when He sent His Son to atone for our transgressions (in their multitude) against Himself. He found worth in us to bring us into this world and, being that He is unchanging, still finds worth in us today. If we are created in the image of God, then He has not created us without an intrinsic value. Look at the Gospels. Really spend some time in them and you’ll find that the most destitute, trite, down, out and honest people are the people Jesus spent the most time with in His life. Jesus treasured the naked.
Rather than covering up our nakedness in prayer and relationships, let us exult in our nakedness. In nakedness we see weakness, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) Let’s be bold and trust that the God of love is just that. Let’s be bold in the name of God and His crazy love, because naked and broken are truly beautiful in His eyes.