Naked and unashamed

I’ve been thinking for the past few days about the gamble of self disclosure.

The negative sides of letting it all hang out are pretty obvious. Jerry Springer comes to mind, or the reality tv shows like “The Bachelor”. Narcissists who make everything about them. The very phrase, “airing our dirty laundry”…it exists because we all know there is a line somewhere that shouldn’t be crossed, a line of giving others too much information.

And, of course, there’s the personal fear involved in self disclosure: feeling vulnerable, open to be wounded, exposed. There is the reality of being naked and ashamed.

Someone used my blog to publicly question my motives about NFC. It’s made me want to pull my head back into my turtle shell, to hide, to cover up, to gloss over. It’s made me want to not be honest, but rather to put on a safe mask that is presentable to anyone. There’s such risk and vulnerability in being open.

I believe that the God of the universe, our creator, has powerfully revealed God’s character in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The apostle Paul calls Jesus the second Adam, the one who brings healing to the horror of the garden in Genesis 3. The first Adam in Eden shows the relational cost of choosing our way instead of God’s. The first Adam boldly chooses to reject God’s wisdom, and ends up hiding in the cool of the evening from the voice of the one calling his name; ends up frantically covering himself from the woman who is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. The cost of our rejection of God is seen in the first Adam as he hides, cutting himself off from the God who calls, as he hides from the woman in whom he had finally found kinship. Going against God leaves human beings with the fear of self disclosure. Naked and ashamed.

The healing second Adam opened God’s self to the pain of rejection, the abuse and hatred of the self-righteous, the anguish of watching friends die. Jesus, the second Adam, opened God’s arms wide to embrace those who rejected him, and was nailed half-naked to an undeserved cross. He opened himself, made himself vulnerable, showed us what the heart of God could look like wrapped in frail flesh, and suffered horribly because he took that risk. Christ’s gamble to show us the heart of God and the depth of God’s love for us makes my gambles of honesty and vulnerability pale in comparison.

So I choose to take the risk. I choose to follow the example of Jesus, our healer, and risk opening myself and my struggles and my joys to the world. I don’t know all who will read this, but I will choose self-disclosure, in the hopes that by my risk, you may see signs of the presence of Jesus in my life. Because today, I experienced things I have never experienced before in my life. I won’t share them all, because there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. But I will share part, because today, I tangibly felt the real presence of Jesus to a depth that I never have before.

As I lay with my face flat on the floor of my office, my body racked with sobs, while two friends prayed over me, Jesus healed an ache deep inside me. I could barely speak, but my friends did the speaking in prayer for me. I could barely think, but the Spirit of God prayed for me. I could feel God lifting a weight of emotion on my shoulders that has been years in the making, and all I could do was rest, rest in his presence, breathing out, “I love you, Jesus.” Over and over again.

I was, in front of God and my two friends, naked and unashamed. It was the most freeing feeling in the world.

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9 thoughts on “Naked and unashamed

  1. a lovely post, Friend. I’m sorry to read of your pain, but glad that you have others with you so that they can show and demonstrate to you the love of God as you go through this. It’s posts like this that make the blogosphere a better place to be a part of. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. Thank you.

    The Lord your God is among you, as a strong saviour: he will be glad over you with joy, he will make his love new again, he will make a song of joy over you as in the time of a holy feast.

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  3. the picture on your blog reminds me of a line, something like I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence my help cometh. Have you been in the hills lately? Would it help?

    It’s pretty much a cliche among unprogrammed Friends, but it still seems right to say I will hold you in the Light.

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  4. “… he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    God is definitely doing a good work in you and I, for one, am so looking forward to seeing what more God has for you. Look only to Him.

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  5. I didn’t go to the business meeting, but am listening to it, right now, on the podcast. I am glad you decided to continue to blog… even after the comment on Sunday night. It is too important for you, and for all of those who risk something by writing… writing truth… As Anne Lamott says, good writing is about asking how alive are you willing to be. There is always a risk, a gamble, when you put yourself out there… but being alive is about taking those risks.

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  6. Gregg, I don’t know you but your entry touched me deeply. God sends us those we need when we need them most, as you undoubtedly know and have experienced. You are blessed by such souls.

    Bless you (and as we say in the south, “bless your heart”) and I write that in utmost sincerity. I hope that you will share your journey, as you feel led, during this time. I believe it will help so many others.

    BTW, your new blog look is fantastic!

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  7. Thank you all, for the scripture and thoughts and prayers. You’ve shown another reason to risk sharing our stuff is that there are those who walk alongside and give love. I appreciate it greatly!

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  8. Gregg,
    The aroma of Jesus is all over this and, oh my, does it smell sweet! There is no better place to be than on our faces, broken at the feet of Jesus. Leadership is so much more about brokeness, listening and obedience than about power or skill. I am much impressed with your skills, but I am in awe of your heart for Jesus. I am praying that your time away will be full of fellowship with Jesus and Abba.

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  9. Pingback: Gregg’s Gambles » Blog Archive » Raincoats and losing bravado

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