Hide and Seek
I'm thinking about intimacy today. The Garden of Eden gives us a glimpse of how life was meant to be. People created for God's pleasure, enjoying the beauty and bounty of the land, in perfect communion with God. The Bible says they were naked and unashamed. They knew fundamentally that everything they were, everything they had was derived from God. He was their source and Creator- nothing was hidden from Him.
When sin was introduced, perfection was lost. With the Fall came shame and covering. The covering of intimate parts symbolized a loss of innocence and a loss of intimacy with God.
Fast-forward thousands of years and we humans have perfected the art of covering our unsightly bits. We build masks to keep others from seeing who we really are. Perfectionism, arrogance, sarcasm, a biting wit, bullying, deflection, and being the martyr all act as barriers preventing others from getting close; and they are pretty darn effective.
In Western culture, people have an innate fear of being uncovered before God and before others. Fear of rejection and ridicule run deep. We'll do just about anything to avoid being "found out," seen and ultimately rejected. Sitting behind our masks and walls, we can trick ourselves into believing that God can't see our true selves. That He, too, is oblivious to what's really going on deep down.
It reminds me of playing Hide and Seek with a toddler who thinks they're invisible when they cover their eyes. We exclaim, "You can't see me!" as our Father looks on with loving and knowing eyes.
As in the garden, who we are and all that we have come from Him. He is our Father and He isn't surprised by who we are or the choices we make. The secret faults and failures we work so hard to bury are like cancers to our souls. The Great Physician wants to dig out those pathogens and heal us from the inside out, but He can't deal with what we won't acknowledge.
For the inside work to be done, we must be laid bare, inert before the Lord and allow Him to do what only He can do. It takes courage to be that vulnerable, but that's where healing takes place.
For many, the thought of confessing our faults and failings to God is a terrifying thing. We conjure thoughts of a mighty judge with a huge and heavy hammer.
Romans 2:4 says, "Don’t you realize how patient he is being with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance."
His kindness leads us to repentance. His patience gives us time to turn to Him. His motive is not to catch us red-handed or expose us to ridicule, but to lovingly remove the things that cause us to be isolated and hurt.
1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
When we allow our fear to block us from intimacy, we lose out. If we can open ourselves up to love, it will drive out whatever remains of fear. Love will heal, soothe and make us whole. True intimacy leads to fearlessness and freedom. Isn't that what we are all looking for?