Monday, September 1, 2014

Anatomy of a God

Adam and Eve weren't the only naked beings in the Garden, by the way. God was naked, too.

Don't write me off as crass; I'm not trying to be. But what is it about us that we always picture Adam and Eve in fig leaves and God in a flowing white robe? We're afraid, even today, of the nakedness of Creation. We're afraid of things as they were intended to be. And even for those of us who could possibly imagine Adam and Eve in all their created glory (naked), we can't fathom God without His robe. 

God's robe in the Garden is our creation, not His. 

God created this world on the foundation of love, and in love, there is nothing He had to hide from us. He placed knowledge and life in the fruit of the tree so we wouldn't be so distracted by these qualities in Him, and He gave us Himself. After all, we were created to love Him, and He created us in love, and love cannot exist where there are secrets. Love cannot exist without openness, without honesty. Love cannot exist in a place where either party is less than the full measure of themselves. Not true love, anyway, and don't you think God envisioned this Creation as a place where true love is possible? 

If true love is possible, God is naked, too. 

There's nothing we can't know about Him. Even today, one could make that argument. God gives us everything we need to make an informed decision on who He is. Yes, some things in a fallen world still require a measure of faith, but the information is still there even if we don't see the implementation of that information. That is, we see echoes of God's justice even when it doesn't feel like such a just world. We see remnants of His faithfulness when it feels like He has abandoned us. We hear whispers of His grace when we're least deserving of it. The haunt of holiness is all around us, and it continues to make love possible between the Fall and Forever.

The same is true, by the way, of the coming Heaven. Heaven is a place where shame will be defeated, where man returns to his original form and stands naked before God. Revealing, without shame, who he is. And where God stands naked before man, revealing, in glory, all He is. And you know what? We're all going to be okay with that.

We're going to be okay with that because there is no shame, no grief, nothing lesser. Everything is "good" again, and there's no reason to hide. We'll understand everything we were created to be and everything the Creator is and it's all going to be okay. 

Yet here we are again, and I can't help but reflect on knowing that when we all imagine Heaven, God's still wearing His flowing robe. He's covered in white; I'm clad in jeans and a t-shirt. (Don't get me wrong; I look good, finally, like one of those jean ads, but still....) In Heaven, there will be no need for jeans, no need for T-shirts, and no need for robes. God can't wait to show us exactly what He looks like.

And I can't wait to see under His robe.

I can't wait to see what mercy really looks like, in a place where I'm not going to need any more of it. I can't wait to see grace in the flesh, and in everything else around me. I can't wait to see what holiness really is, what it looks like to be un-fallen, what it looks like to be whole. I can't wait to see what righteousness and justice and peace and faith and joy and comfort and presence look like....all wrapped in love. 

I can't wait to see what Love looks like. 

These are things I can't fathom here, things I can't know in a fallen world. But this much I do know - every one of these things is naked. And as much as that makes my skin chafe now to think about, I can't wait to see it.

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