Naked and (UN)ashamed

Don’t you hate naked dreams? You know the ones. You’re in a public place and suddenly IMAG3123realize you forgot to get dressed. You’re horrified and afraid of being seen.

I had one of those dreams the other night.

What’s really funny is that in my dream there was a young man who upset me. We were in a crowd of people, and he kept doing irritating things. Then he started stripping!

The next scene of my dream I ran upstairs, looking for my father to ask him to deal with the chaos this young man was causing. But before I could find my dad, I looked down and realized that I was naked! I ran and found a sheet to hide in and wrapped myself in it, weeping.

When I awoke from this dream I immediately equated it to my life, especially the stuff I’ve been processing the last few weeks. When I wrote my Tension Tummy post I spoke about how boxes and legalism have hurt me and a lot of other people. I ended with these words:

I’ve had ample opportunity to process legalism and judgment lately. . . My human self comes up with all kinds of wonderful ways to fight . . . Instead I ask God to shed Truth and Grace where it is needed.

Including in the ugly remnants of legalism and religiosity in me.

See, my heart is to be loving and grace-filled, but I never perform up to my own desires. When I am hurt, or worse yet when someone I love is hurt, judgement and legalism are right there, ready to take up space in my attitude.

I think my dream is a reminder that while I am passionate about speaking out against boxes and legalism, I can never do it without that voice inside reminding me that I, too, am not perfect.

I have not yet let go of judgment or stepped out of boxes to the extent I want to. My mind is ahead of me even in the progress I have made. Often my thoughts and emotions don’t keep up with what I believe to be true. Sometimes even my actions contradict the grace I believe in.

I’m a work in progress.

There’s something in the Bible that talks about Jesus giving us robes of righteousness. That is the only answer to my naked problem. My raw, naked faults will be exposed from time to time. Hopefully I’m processing forward and becoming more loving, not less. But no matter how I long to be perfect, I’m just not.

That’s when I remember Jesus never left me naked and exposed. Long ago He gave me that righteousness robe to cover all the humanity I wish the world never saw. So when I feel hurt by my own lack, I look to HIM, to HIS fullness. To the way He cares, forgives, and covers me with the Good that is Himself.

Then I grab hold of His hand and hope I can listen to His Voice in a way that helps me be more loving and less judgmental the next time.

It’s not my desire to take away from anything I said in that Tension Tummy post. I believe those words to be true. It just seems important to say that even in my passion for freedom and against religiosity I have to say, “Me, too.”

I too am trying to find my way out of legalism.

I too have boxes I wish I could step out of.

I too fail at this grace thing, no matter how much I wish I didn’t.

Thank God HE is always there to remind me that failure is not the end of the story. That my missteps are forgiven. That He will help me journey down that road to loving more like He does.

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4 thoughts on “Naked and (UN)ashamed

  1. paulfg June 18, 2014 at 7:27 am Reply

    Paula, what a wonderful piece. Reading it through a second time, the picture of a young (almost there) toddler came to mind. Not yet able to walk. But trying and trying and trying. So often they giggle and laugh as they try. Other times they huff and puff. And sometimes the lie on the floor and have a tantrum. Yet always my memories are of love, pride and affection. My wee ones never gave up!!

    (and once they could walk, then it was the running, and the stairs, then the climbing, then the leaping, then the ….)

    Where’s the fun in being perfect? 🙂

    • Paula Moldenhauer June 18, 2014 at 9:17 pm Reply

      Great analogy!! And I believe our God is like a parent cheering on a beloved child, taking our hand and helping us move forward. Love this. Thank you.

  2. David Christie June 19, 2014 at 4:47 am Reply

    Another home run! And not to wish this on anyone but it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Prayers and Praises for your continued and successful progress.

    • Paula Moldenhauer June 19, 2014 at 5:13 am Reply

      Thanks, my friend. Many blessings on you . . . and here’s to that covering of HIS righteousness!

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