Posted by: Kara Luker | September 29, 2022

Naked and unafraid

Illustration by Louis Veuillot

“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” It’s a verse from Genesis 2 I’ve been thinking about a lot lately; one that comes before Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit the serpent promised would open their eyes. Their eyes were indeed opened – to see their nakedness and to feel the shame of it. Fear quickly followed, resulting in fig leaves and a hiding place. 

I have come out of so much shame and fear and can’t properly express how grateful I am for this. But shame still surfaces sometimes about the way I look or act or various other aspects of my being and makes me want to cover up my nakedness – the unclothed parts of me that make me feel vulnerable and exposed – and hide in fear. 

One example is the ongoing saga of aging. Honestly, I love getting older. Age has brought me so many gifts and so much freedom. But it’s not easy to feel like the only one who is looking older in an area where most women either look great naturally or are using artificial means to maintain their youth. As alluring as the “fixes” can be and as much as I would love to look younger for John (and myself) and just to blend in, I am sick of hiding. I’m tired of yielding to the lie that I’m not acceptable as I am; that I have to measure up to some invisible standard of who I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to look like. At this point, I would far rather face the discomfort of being known for who I am and possibly rejected than for being wrapped up in fig leaves and possibly accepted.

I’ve also noticed that I’m tempted to hide from opportunities to be with people. Like when John asked me about inviting out-of-town friends to stay with us for Thanksgiving and I initially said no because they are particularly capable in the hosting and cooking departments and I felt pressure to perform, certain I’d come up short. Which is lame because I love being with these people. And, in case you missed it, I’m sick of hiding. I decided that I only have to show up and do my best. No need to hide or pretend I’m anything other than I am because there is no shame in my nakedness. So I changed my mind and said yes – and I meant it.

I realize these sound like pretty insignificant concerns in the big scheme of things and I get it, but it’s significant for me because the life-sucking pattern of seeing my nakedness, feeling my shame and hiding in fear has plagued me for ages and I want nothing more than to get rid of every vestige of it, no matter how big or how small. It was the root cause of my addictions, eating disorders and general self-destruction, all of which dragged me through hell. I would venture to say shame and fear were the cause of my son’s suicide and I’m guessing if you are struggling to be at peace in your own self or skin, you’ll probably find these same suspects at the bottom of it too. 

So how do we come out of hiding? How do we make peace with the nakedness we see in ourselves? Through the cross. It was our beautiful invitation back into the garden, where we can once again be unclothed and unashamed; where we will be enveloped by a deep sense of acceptance and belonging that can’t be touched by something so irrelevant as shame. It’s where our eyes will opened to see grace. What a beautiful sight! And I have to imagine that our freedom will give permission to others to drop their fig leaves and come out of hiding too. I feel my courage rising. I hope you do too. (Just please don’t take this too literally. Don’t want to get anyone arrested for indecent exposure :))


Responses

  1. ❤️❤️❤️🙏


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