The neighborhood that we live in is quite familiar with every anatomical detail of my two year old. Let's just say potty training has been quite a drawn out process and sometimes in his excitement to play outside with the other children, Isaac skips a few steps.
"Naked and unashamed".
I've been thinking a lot lately about what that phrase means. Before I got married I was very concerned about standing in front of another person without anything to hide behind, completely unprotected from inspection and criticism. In many ways I'm still like that.
I hide behind my clothes, don't you? "Modest is hottest" - or so my niece tells me but I didn't put that bikini away until I had my fourth child. I have quite a bit more to hide these days.
In contemplating my growing modesty and sense of propriety I've been struck by the thought that while my body needs more clothing these days, my relationships need less -- figuratively speaking of course.
We all wrap ourselves up in layer upon layer of protection, wanting to look our best to one another when we really ought to be vulnerable, to open our lives up for inspection, loving criticism and mutual edification. How can a friend share a burden if it is covered in self reliance and pride?
Our culture tells us to be self reliant, to never allow another person to judge us, to not accept input from anyone and to make our own path - the exact opposite of what I read in the Bible. I John 4:18 says that "There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear
involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in
I know that being vulnerable is dangerous. That I will get hurt, heck, the passage in I John 4:18 tells us that we need to love as God did when he sent his Son. God gave his very best: a naked, vulnerable little baby to be abused and rejected by the world and ultimately tortured and put to death.
God's love was risky, He knew it would be painful. He gave us a taste of heaven and we spit it out. Every time that we offer or reject intimacy with another person what we are ultimately rejecting is God, his example and his way of doing things.
Whenever I think about Isaac running around outside just as free as anything and happy as could be I wonder if instead of worrying about the pain of love, I could just hang onto the joy of holding nothing back, I too might be able to go skipping merrily down the hill like a two year old with his behind glistening in the sun.