Naked and exposed. Not literally, thankfully, although there have definitely been some shirtless homeschool days for one of my boys who is not afraid to enjoy the few perks of sudden homeschooling.
Stripped of busyness and the false sense of significance and insulation it provides, my soul has felt more exposed and vulnerable this past few weeks (which have felt much longer than a few weeks). I cannot run to the coffee shop or walk around my favorite thrift stores. I cannot plan my weeks with face-to-face meetings with women at church for my job. I detest the phone and am a late adapter with technology, which means that I feel a bit like a fish out of water in our new virtual world.
In this sudden (and much-needed) soul exposure, I have found myself tempted to quickly find new cloaks to throw over myself. The perfect homeschool schedule: that fell apart ten minutes into Quarantine Academy. Household productivity: another quick failed attempt, as our mountain of unfolded laundry will attest.
Patiently, the Lord has let me run down my list of other options. Quietly, he has let me toil to find some scraps of clothing with which to cover my exposed soul. Finally, when I was wearied of my other options, he let me collapse into him and the cover of his presence.
I have often thought about God’s provision of clothes for our naked and exposed matriarch and patriarch who were pathetically attempting to hide their shame under fig leaves. However, I had never stopped to think how long that would have taken.
After all, an animal or two would have to be killed (a sacrifice which no doubt pointed to the coming ultimate sacrifice of God himself). Then they would have to be skinned. Those skins would have to be washed and dried in the sunlight for days. Then they would have to be painstakingly stretched and softened without chemical or industrial processes. Then they would have to be fashioned into fitting clothes tailor made to Adam and Eve.
While God might have snapped and made clothes or had the angels deliver some by a heavenly version of Amazon Prime, I imagine that same God who prefers the slow process of sanctification spiritually and the organic processes of growth physically would have done the tanning himself. God himself likely engaged in the messy, detailed and intimate process.
The thought of God getting messy and working up a sweat to make clothes for his treacherous children is obviously an imaginative assumption; however, the fact that God himself became a messy sacrifice to provide for us robes of righteousness that cover our shame and sin is fact.
The One who has all power made himself powerless and vulnerable. The sinless son of God, the only one who could stand before the Father naked and unashamed, was stripped of his clothing and publicly shamed. He who had only known the secure and comforting embrace of the Father wore the soul-crushing cloak of our shame on the cross.
He was stripped so that I could become clothed in a borrowed robe of righteousness. I have an identity secure in him. Yet, I tend to forget that and run amuck looking for other scraps of significance. The Father patiently waits and watches my sad attempts until I am ready to be reminded of the cloak of righteousness he secured for me in my nakedness.
If COVD-19 and its upheaval have left you feeling naked and exposed, know that there is One who offers robes of righteousness which cost Him everything but are free through costly faith (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)..