Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.Genesis 2:25
Genesis two is a beautiful creation narrative. We can imagine ourselves in the garden as the new earth takes on habitation. It is intentionally beautiful and pristine. Rivers and greenery and animals and humans. And no shame.
It was a world before sin. There was not even an impulse to cover their nakedness. Most men turn red to discover that their zipper is down. They wonder how long and who noticed. But here is this first couple, naked in the garden, the hum of creation still in the air. And no shame.
It didn’t last long, at least as the pages of the Bible are concerned. We do not know how long they were in the garden before shame arrived. But as we read about it, there are only a few sentences until everything about their existence would change. It is not long until they are hiding in the garden while the Father searches for them.
Although there are people who seem to have no shame whatsoever, I think there are many more who live under the weight of shame.
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”Genesis 3:10
We are not given much of a look into the psyche of the man and woman in the garden. No doubt he is filled with the angst of error, exposure of his disobedience, regret, and embarrassment. All elements of shame. So he hid.
I wonder how many of us relate to God from the shelter of the bushes? Hiding in our shame, longing for Him to come close but so afraid that He will. Knowing how deeply He loves us but wondering if we have crossed a line this time. Assured of His saving power, but also his power to push us aside.
What has caused you to experience shame? I encourage you to bring it before the Lord boldly. See, when he is looking in the bushes calling out your name, it is not because he doesn’t know where you are. He wants you to know where He is. He is near. He calls out to your heart. The call of God is not a call to live in shame but to return to Eden and experience His cleansing touch. Even if we find it hard to believe – one day we will know what it’s like to be like the man and woman in the garden. To have no shame, because He has taken away all of the things that bring us shame.
For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame,… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.Romans 10:11, 13