Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Not Even Nakedness...

Image "Two Affectionate Babies" Courtesy of Victor Habbick/freedigitalphotos.net

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  
Romans 8:35 NIV

The last time MOST of us want to see a picture of ourselves naked is when we're around the age of those two babies above.  There are many of us who don't even like wearing a swimming suit in public, and who can't stand going to the doctor to be poked and prodded while wearing a thin cotton (or paper) gown.  I personally find that some of my most terrifying nightmares are the ones where SOMEHOW I wind up naked.  (Don't leave me hanging...please, tell me I'm not alone.)

So, one of the things I fear most for my daughter is her loss of modesty or dignity.  She has honestly had to be naked in front of her doctors for a decade.  We have a hard time teaching her that there are now times when it is NOT OKAY to just whip your shirt up, or walk out of the bathroom with your pants down to your ankles.  As adorable as she may be, she will be a young lady very, very soon, and her naivete about nudity terrifies me.

Our daughter rarely has slept over at a friend's house; part of that is HER anxiety, and, admittedly, part of that is MINE.  She has rarely dressed herself successfully .  She has trouble with hygiene in the bathroom.  When she has dressed herself, usually something is backwards or inside out.  How do I send her to someone else's house and hope for her to maintain her dignity?
Thankfully, this weekend at church, I gleaned a morsel from the sermon that my husband said he hadn't even thought of the way I did.  (Isn't it great when the Holy Spirit tailors the message specifically for each one of us?). 
My "morsel" manifested itself in a story that our pastor told us which was taken from Corrie Ten Boom's book, The Hiding Place.  This book is Corrie's recounting of the time she spent imprisoned with her sister because their family hid Jews from the Nazis.  Since I know I could never do the story any justice through paraphrase, I found it on-line at broadcaster.org
Fridays--the recurrent humiliation of medical inspection. The hospital corridor in which we waited was unheated and a fall chill had settled into the walls. Still we were forbidden even to wrap ourselves in our own arms, but had to maintain our erect, hands-at-sides position as we filed slowly past a phalanx of grinning guards.
How there could have been any pleasure in the sight of these stick-thin legs and hunger-bloated stomachs I could not imagine. Surely there is no more wretched sight than the human body unloved and uncared for.

Nor could I see the necessity for the complete undressing: when we finally reached the examining room a doctor looked down each throat, another--a dentist presumably--at our teeth, a third in between each finger. And that was all. We trooped again down the long, cold corridor and picked up our X-marked dresses at the door.

But it was one of these mornings while we were waiting, shivering in the corridor, that yet another page in the Bible leapt into life for me.

He hung naked on the cross.

...The paintings, the carved crucifixes showed at least a scrap of cloth. But this, I suddenly knew, was the respect and reverence of the artist. But oh--at the time itself, on that other Friday morning--there had been no reverence. No more than I saw in the faces around us now.

'Betsie, they took His clothes too.'

Ahead of me I heard a little gasp. 'Oh, Corrie. And I never thanked Him...'
Neither had I, Betsie.  And I had never thought about the humiliation that the King, our Savior, felt as he hung there on the cross, with only his own blood to cover him.

Naked...He took on our own indecencies so that we may never be separated from God again.
In my nightmares, I try to cover myself with my hands~but his hands were nailed from the East to the West.  
I pull the blinds down before my daughter runs downstairs after her bath~but he was nailed to the cross on the top of a hill in front of a laughing, sneering, shouting crowd.  
I remind my daughter, before and after her medical check ups, that the doctors will have to look at certain parts and might even have to touch them, but it's not okay for anyone else to do that~but Jesus's own Father had to turn away from Him because He could protect Him no longer from the filth of our sin.
Not even our nakedness can separate us from the love of God.  Not today, not tomorrow~never, ever, because ...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NIV

Pray:  Heavenly Father, I am in awe of your love for me, for my family, for everyone on this earth.  I cannot imagine the humiliation that Jesus endured for our sake.  Lord, please, forgive me for my sins; I cannot stand to be separated from you.  Remind us that everyone deserves dignity, and that we should help those who cannot find dignity on their own.  Amen.

*THE HIDING PLACE, by Corrie Ten Boom with John L. Sherrill and Elizabeth Sherrill, 1974, Bantam Books.

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