“At that moment their eyes were opened and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves”
My wife has a Precious Moments figurine in our bedroom of a little boy, in an oversized tuxedo, holding an engagement ring. I was clearing some things off of our dresser where the little guy sits the other day, and as I moved him, his head rolled off his body and onto the floor. It was a pretty disturbing sight. I looked around to see if she saw it happen. I was safe. Then I started wondering how it had happened. Had I broken the little guys head off? Had one of our kids? If they had then I was about to do the exact same thing they had done. I picked up his little head, placed it delicately back on his body, and walked away. My tracks had been covered.
When I read the story of Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden and how they covered themselves with fig leaves, I realize that covering our tracks is an inherited trait. We’ve done it since the beginning of time. We don’t want someone else to see our guilt, our screw ups, our insecurities. So we cover ourselves with fig leaves.
This story of Adam and Even says that the Lord made clothing for them from animal skins. That meant some animal died, so their nakedness could be covered. I guess that may sound a little morbid, and PETA would have had a fit, but when its you standing in front of God and everybody completely naked, you’re thankful for the animal that sacrificed its life so you could be covered. Spiritually speaking, Jesus was that animal for us. Scripture calls him the “Lamb slain from the foundations of the earth.” In His death, our sin and shame is covered. He hides our spiritual nakedness.
Still so many of us run around wearing fig leaves. We do this by overcompensating. We try to act more spiritually mature than we really are, so no one can see how bad we blow it. We tell ourselves, we can’t help our selves. This is just who we are, how we were born. We didn’t choose to be this way or to do this or that. In our best attempts to cover our bare naked weakness and imperfections we clothe ourselves with fig leaves. But Jesus has provided a covering for us. We don’t have to wear fig leaves any more!
I’ve started getting real honest with God lately. My prayers aren’t pretty, they’re honest. I find that when I come to God in my embarrassing nakedness, and ask him to forgive, to cover my weaknesses, I am immediately covered with His comfort, His love for me fits me like a comfy pair of jogging pants, and a warm hoodie. “God, I’ve been feeling this way lately. I don’t like it. I know shouldn’t be feeling this way, so can you help me? Clothe me.” He does. The challenge is getting real specific, real honest with Him. To do anything less is just tacking on another fig leaf. Tell Him that you feel hatred for someone, tell him that you lied and you know it, tell Him you are craving another hit, another bottle, that you’re fighting the urge to cut yourself but you’re not winning. There’s something significant that happens when we get gut level honest with God. We step up in front of Him in our nakedness and He lovingly covers us with what the Bible calls “robes of righteousness.”
So if you’re still wearing fig leaves, you don’t have to. God has an amazing wardrobe of grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, hope, acceptance and so much more that He has tailored just for you. Take off the fig leaves, and put on your new clothes. After all, some one died, so you could wear them.
Oh Shannon you are such a blessing – we just love your writing and it just so honest and deep – thank you! May The Lord bless you abundantly and your precious family too – how I wish we could just sit down and chat face to face! We have still not visited the USA – we never seem to get beyond Israel but we really have to make a plan one day. We have just returned from Israel – special as always. Have a very special day andlots of love to you and Kristia and all the family. Love and blessings, Pam
It always makes me smile to see your name. We would live to see you. Please do come and see us. Give our love to Michael.