Do I really present myself naked before God?

I had a sudden realization that I'm very rarely really naked under my clothes -- I have let external things become part of me in my idea of myself, and I think that is a much more insidious form of attachment to worldly things than the usual ones of reliance on wealth / power / freedom to do whatever pleaces you... I was kneeling in prayer, and suddenly thought of myself kneeling there naked, with my clothes surrounding me in their usual places next to my skin, and realized the huge contrast with how I've usually felt about myself, which has included anything I was wearing as though it were part of me -- as though a garment (which, after all, can be cast off and changed for another [:]) could pray as part of me! (But, note the biblical acceptance of garments taking on power from their wearers, too: Elijah's mantle[:], the hem of Jesus' cloak[:].) I shall now make an effort for a while to think of myself as naked, thinking of my clothes as being external to me as indeed they are...

I'd definitely recommend to any readers who haven't tried it that they go along to a sauna (or free beach, or whatever) and try being in public without any external indicators of status or style (don't worry, it's not at all erotic, just very relaxing)!

And so now I think of how we must all stand before God as we really are -- I'll be there without any pockets (unusual for me) -- no penknife, no purse, no athsma medication, no cross, nothing for mending bicycles, no keys -- for He will give us all we need... hmmm, but He already does!

Spiritual tan lines

When we try to hide parts of ourselves from God (and He does not force things on us), we get ``spiritual tan lines'' -- we end up with some parts of ourselves pale and clammy-looking (and embarrased about them!) while other parts have that healthy fresh-air glow to them where they have been exposed to wind and light! And because we are free, while God can see us in our interitey, he can change us only when (and presumably where -- and how? maybe, maybe not) we open ourselves to Him and let Him in.

Of course, if I do make the effort to remember I am naked under my clothes, I might feel self-conscious at first (perhaps because of being in situations where nudity is socially unusual) -- which by now I am not, at saunas and in skinny-dipping places -- so there may be a little unrealism at first!

A thinking point

If this whimsical idea took you... think for yourself about ``what do I present to God as though it were inseparable from myself?''.

[John's Christianity page]
John C. G. Sturdy

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