Naked…something so innocent and innocuous yet so indecent and so intolerable. All of us remember sometime in our life when being naked was blissful or exciting. Some part of our hearts knew we were made to be enjoyed. We may have run around naked as little children without a care in the world. Some of us (author included) remember unveiling ourselves as a small child to someone else, thinking that they would be as fascinated with our bodies as we were. We knew down deep that there was something grand and glorious about us that the world wanted… no not just wanted, but needed to see, to behold.
Then there was the arrow that pierced our innocent hearts. “What we cover with our clothes is shameful… dangerous even…”
Usually we find this out with by the sneer on someone’s face, the whipping on our bottom, a shriek by someone whom we thought would be delighted, verbal abuse and scorn instead of praise… and so we come to believe that what we hide under our cotton and denim veils each day is either completely unpraiseworthy and bland or else something dangerous and horrible. Our glory becomes our shame.
But remember better days, (here let me acknowledge all those who might not be able to remember better days, all the sexually abused, whose beauty and innocence were preyed upon when they should have been protected. You are not forgotten. You did nothing wrong. You are NOT to blame and neither is your nudity. Your body is good and beautiful, not tainted. The abuser is the tainted one. Whoever could abuse a child is an evil of the worst kind and deserves the death penalty. They are to blame, not you dear one…) remember with me for a moment when you truly believed that you were hiding something glorious with your clothing. Remember the thrill that something beautiful and exciting lay just a tapestry of fabric away. Can you remember the excitement? the anticipation? that edge of naughtiness that felt like true genuine goodness and not like something vulgar or obscene?
I was going to discuss the morality of nudity, but bear with me for a blog, as we just let our hearts remember, something fantastic that we at one time knew. Our bodies are a beautiful secret. I know it may be difficult to apply this to your body now, after all the shame, or hurt, or age, but its true. When God created the world, including one naked man and one naked woman, he gave it His highest praise, “It is very good!” All the preceding days and events of creation earned God’s approval of “good” but when Adam and Eve, were added, completely naked and unashamed, God’s approval swelled to “very good”.
The Bible talks a lot about the Glory of God and for all that I’ve read, I believe that God’s Glory is much like our nudity. God has a secret beauty that He won’t reveal to just anyone except His Bride, the church. We too as image bearers of our God, have a glory to share. And Jesus told us to Grow Down. He said that we must become like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I believe that part of that growing down is realizing that we too possess a glory like God’s Glory, never greater than His Glory, but because we are created in His image, I believe it to be truly amazing and remarkable similar. God is the most beautiful being in all of creation and one day we will all bask in His Glory. He won’t have to veil it anymore according to the apostle Paul. “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).
But for now lets keep it simple, let your heart remember being naked. Nudity is all about the heart. When I see a naked woman, something deep inside me yearns for glory and beauty for goodness and wildness, for deep draughts of the Glory of God. You can accuse me of being a hypocrite or a pervert or liar or heretic, but when I see nudity deep calls to deeps within my soul. I long to know and be known. I long to revel in the beauty and my childlike heart still longs for someone to recognize the beauty that my body has to offer as well. I want to skinny dip and run naked through a cool spring forest. I want women to peak and gaze with naked curiosity and desire (not lust but simple desire). I believe every human being wants this. There may be a ton of clutter that covers even that “naked” desire” but I know that everyone wants to be admired in all their glory.
We all pretend everyday. We pretend to be above such childlike fancies, but why all the fascination with nudity, sex, and sexuality? Why are we sexual to our core (masculine and feminine)? Why does sex sell? Why do many of the stories that we keep of feeling truly “alive” have to do with being naked? My wife, used to go with several of her college friends, down to the local beach, and cast off their clothes and play naked in the surf. She is a writer and one of her best pieces tells of a group of women casting off all their clothes and dancing naked underneath the moonlight. Then as icing on the cake, my mom and her ultra-ultra conservative friend read her story and they both had glowing praise for it. These two ladies have always been exemplary Christians and always dressed modestly, yet something inside them both seemed to come alive after reading my wife’s short story.
Anyone who reads my blogs or knows me knows that I don’t condone nudism (both sexes mingling freely without clothes) because of our fallen nature, I consider it unwise to say the least. But even in our fallen world I believe that nudity within a safe environment is one of the greatest reminders of life and delight and the world to come.
Just listen for a moment to that deep desire within. You possess a beauty that is captivating. We may only be able to enjoy it in limited spaces here, but when God restores all things, our glory and His will be openly displayed, we will truly be naked and unashamed again…