In the beginning, God designed us for connection.
Before He even formed man, God built a garden and provided all we could ever physically need. Can you imagine how glorious it must have been? A whole spectrum of bursting color, pure, untainted and joy-filled to behold. Lush plants and an array of fragrances from the fresh fruit trees. The harmonies of bright birds singing their songs in the sky, and animals running through the grass.
God knew that a beautiful earth could meet our physical needs, but He also said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. So God formed Adam from the dust of the earth, and formed Eve using one of Adam’s rib bones. God breathed His own holy breath into their lungs and created the most intimate human relationship right then and called them one flesh.
“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2: 25)
The three of them, Adam, Eve, and God, walked through the gardens together. I wonder what God’s laugh sounded like to Adam and Eve. I picture them sitting in silence together with complete comfort as they watched the sun rise each morning. I imagine God pointing up at the night sky to name all of the stars for His children. I wonder what it was like in those beginning days, with no shame and no sin. Brokenness had not yet entered into the world, and the connection He established remained perfectly intact.
But the second they ate the fruit, shame crashed into the world. Adam and Eve covered themselves, hid from God, and blamed each other. Most of all, they were disconnected from God and one another.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’
He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'” (Genesis 3: 7-10)
I can’t imagine how much it must have broken God’s heart to have to discipline His children, to send them out of the garden He built for them, to have to make them garments to cover up their nakedness. That original sin caused a chasm from the original connection God designed.
How does that affect us today?
Even though God designed us for connection, we push Him away in our shame. Our shame casts a shadow over the way we see ourselves and the way we see our perfect Father. We fear that He will no longer love us if we let Him see the deepest secrets we carry. We fear our sins are too big for Him to forgive. We fear that He would be disappointed if He only knew our thoughts and our quiet actions.
So we wear fig leaves to try to keep ourselves from being seen:
-Denial (I’m okay, really)
-Avoidance (busyness/not spending time with Him/closing ourselves off)
-Numbness (if I can’t feel anything or pay attention to it, it’s not really there)
-Defiance (rebellion/sin/running the other way)
-Pride (I can handle this on my own/I don’t need help)
Here’s the thing though: God ALREADY KNOWS all of our sin, thoughts, words, actions, and secrets. The fig leaves we try to use to cover ourselves are not enough of a barrier to push Him away. He still loves us even with His intimate knowledge of our brokenness.
So what if, instead of trying to hide from the One who already sees us, we stood with our hearts open to Him like an offering? What if instead of hiding behind our ceaseless striving, perfectionism, ambition, and addictions, we pulled back the layers to share it all with Him? What if we let go of the shame to say, “Here I am, Lord,” and let Him have it all?
I get that it’s scary, but to me, it’s even scarier to imagine pushing Him further away and staying hidden for the rest of my life. I want to live surrendered, in sweet intimacy and connection with the One who created me and knows all of me.
I want to be like Job, who calls out his questions to the God who has all of the answers.
I want to be like David, who wrings out his broken heart before a God who cares for our sadness.
I want to be like Jesus, who kneels before God and asks for the pain to go away, but trusts that God’s will is ultimately good.
I want to be vulnerable with my heavenly Father and hand Him all of my hurts, my fears, my doubts, my emotions, and my thoughts, because He can handle them.
I just have to let Him see me.
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