As cooler weather prompts wardrobe changes, I’m thankful for the opportunity to don more clothing. After all, everyone—including myself—is tired of seeing my cellulite. I love jeans and scarves; the more material, the merrier! And why is it that women must wear the equivalent of underwear while swimming when men can stylishly wear knee-length shorts and a rash-guard shirt? That fad needs to move toward the Victorian direction. But, I digress.
Although more clothing feels comfortable, I need to be careful that I don’t start covering up my spirit as well. Busyness and obligation can crowd out those vulnerable times of exposure to the Lord where I allow myself to unveil the deeper issues going on. I layer over my soul and pretend that everything is light and free. How ironic to think I can obscure what is clearly visible to my Creator. Whether I acknowledge it to Him or not, He sees what’s going on in my heart and longs for me to bring it to the light.
Isn’t this “bringing to light” what advent is all about? It is a time of coming, of revelation, of vulnerable exposure. If our Jesus, the Almighty Lord of all, can humble himself to terms such as these and reveal himself as a naked infant, surely we can pause and devote ourselves to times of disrobing our spirit before our Savior. Perhaps the term disrobing sounds indecent or tasteless to suggest, but if we consider our position as the Bride of Christ, what more accurate picture do we get of trust and vulnerability and intimacy?
Before I had children of my own, I couldn’t begin to grasp the gravity of what Mary, mother of Jesus, experienced. Such vulnerability of birthing her first child, the Messiah, while exposing herself to the rude elements, a man she barely knew, and rough sheep-herders must have shown her the level her spirit would also be laid bare. Somehow, I thought my own birthing experience would be more…well… controlled. I had no idea I’d lose power over all bodily faculties and subject myself to such defenselessness. Bringing a child into the light taught me much about trust and vulnerability and rolling through the pain. But, God doesn’t want us to feel defensive toward the light. Even if the exposure intimidates us, we have no cause for fear. For in our vulnerability, He clothes over us with His Spirit of truth.
I Peter 5:5 encourages us to unmask the pride and walk in humility; “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” When I choose to say, “Okay, Lord, here I am in all my ugliness,” He surprises me with a gentle acceptance that says, “I know. I see. I am here to help you, not point a finger in ridicule.”
2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Even though each month leads us to put on more outer covering, we should continue to unveil our spirits before the Lord, allowing His Spirit to transform us from the inside out: a lighting from within.
“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:21