Saturday, April 28, 2012

Eve: Shame or Confidence

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

And yet, in all the good He had created, there wasn't anything that fit Adam just right, until God created woman. Adam's reaction on seeing Eve gives us a glimpse of what a beautiful woman she was. He breaks into the first poetry of this new world, a beautiful verse that would be shared for generations to follow as the beginning of the first love story. Together, they were in the garden - with trees "that were pleasing to the eye and good for food," rivers, and verdant valleys. And they were naked, and knew no shame.

This nakedness is one part of life that they lost after their fall into sin. The purity and freedom they experienced in the bodies God had given them was marred by their sin before God. But women of God, I ask you what it would look like to stand in front of the mirror each morning and be naked and unashamed. I am in right relationship with God, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus - and yet, I look at my body and feel shameful. There is always something to find flaw in - the new acne popping up on my nose, that bulge so kindly called a "love handle," the scars on my hips that don't mark adventurous mishaps but rapid weight gain. I look at myself and try to come up with a new way to hide. Some days, it's baggy clothes and a hat, to hide my figure by blending into the background. Other days, I go the extra mile and pick out a great outfit and makeup, hoping their beauty will mask what is underneath. Eve grabbed some fig leaves and learned how to sew mighty quickly so that she could hide from God. I find it interesting though that nothing changed about her outward appearance that induced this rapid sewing frenzy - rather, a change had taken place in her heart and soul. When sin entered in, so did shame and the need to cover herself; to hide from God, Adam, and her own self the body she was formerly so free in.

Today, we suffer much because of the original fall into sin. The shame we feel about our bodies is nothing new. It is a manifestation of the sinful self we are born into, inherited from the first woman who experienced this shame. But as we come to know Christ and His sacrifice for us, and grow in our relationship with Him, I think God wants us to learn to see even our bodies as a gift from Him. Obviously, I am not advocating a confidence that begets nudity running rampant in the church. But when we think about our own bodies, and look at ourselves in the mirror, I wonder if we can learn to live like Eve did before the fall into sin - naked and unashamed, because we know that our value lies in our Savior, not in our size. She knew that, and experienced freedom and oneness with God. 

1 comment:

Abby said...

So good. I'm very blessed to have such a wise sister.=) <3