Loincloth, Nakedness, and Shame Oh My!

“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves” (Gen. 3:7 NRSV).

As I prepare for Lent, I stumbled across Genesis 3:7 and was intrigued at the actions that Adam and Eve took when discovering their nakedness. While I am sure there might be several people who read this post because of some of the words located in the text, I do not believe that the literal interpretation of the story is the most important assumption made.

Before the reality of nakedness, Adam and Eve lived in the presence of God and the creation of God without anything to hide. I am not talking about their physical selves, but a spiritual sense of the word nakedness. Their lives were in complete communion with God. They served the land and guarded the soil. Immediately after their disobedience, there was a change in their perception of self and their relationship to God.

There was a need to be hidden. Perhaps out of sense of shame for disobeying, or the realization that something had changed. Perhaps (and I am definitely reading something into the text that is not there) if they could have gone back they might have chosen a different path. The fruit was not as appealing on the other side as it had been before.

We see the first recorded romance with the other side. That romance that eventually devoured Adam and Eve. The truth is, it is easy to point the finger at the first man and woman, but the apple (so to speak) doesn’t fall too far from the cart. We are seduced into situations or people who eventually hurt us. How many times do we fall into the trap of doing the wrong thing with the right motives? The truth is, when all is said and done, the wrong thing is just that regardless of the motive.

Many of us have been wounded in the past in some way or another. We have learned how to travel in secret and hide from ourselves and God the ruined dreams or shattered relationships of the past. This was the only way that we knew how to survive. God wants more from us. God calls us back from the realms of abuse and calls us into a relationship which leaves no room for secrets due to shame or whatever motivation.

I recently read a blog that made me think of how painful it must have been to wear a loincloth made of fig leaves. It was probably scratchy and hurt. We put these loincloths on over our souls. They hurt and tend to make us uncomfortable. We cannot be free of pain until we are free from those things that we have created to give us the illusion that we are covered. Uncover your soul and allow God to fill you with strength, hope, and love.

We are reminded through the Lenten journey to get back to God and bare all that you are to the one who created you. Our relationship with God does not need to possess anything. We simply bring to God our complete selves. Loincloths are not needed.

About joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of Rio Rancho United Methodist Church in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.
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