Many people report having had dreams where they were in a crowd or on a stage naked before others. Psychology probably would say that such a person is hiding something in real life or suffers from an anxiety related to a lack of approval or value. There’s much more, no doubt, but that is close enough.
I can say I have never had such a dream—being naked. However, I will say, at this point in life, being naked before another is a bit anxiety provoking. Doctors see it all, but they haven’t seen my all. At least not until they ask to do so and then down come the pants. Me, God, and someone I scarcely know, all having a little peek. I think I’d rather dream it instead…
But naked is an interesting idea. Why do we find it necessary to clothe ourselves? To be sure, I am not advocating for nudist colony ideals, just a simple question. Why the sense of shame, I guess? I could quote the bible and sin and the knowledge of nakedness, and that would suffice. Still, though, we are the only animal to my knowledge that dresses. Weird, huh?
I think there is metaphor to be considered, too. We cover our true motives, thoughts, and judgments, much like the body wears the latest fashion. There are a host of ways to dress up or over our feelings. Lies, avoidance, silence, and complicity, to name a few, are the fashions of the day. We just never seem to mean what we say and say what we mean. The naked truth.
And maybe that is it. Truth is naked. There is no shame in the truth. It is the standard by which all that is untruthful yields or is revealed.
Today, countless fronts are being waged against truth. I’ll not list them here lest some get offended, but things that are obviously and objectively true are being questioned daily. Questioning and casting doubt are not new. Routinely, we are told to doubt what our eyes are clearly telling us.
In the first book of the bible, the first question appears from God’s adversary, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Not only is the statement inaccurate, but the question seeks to cast aspersions on what or who was truthful altogether.
Look, I am not convinced that Adam and Eve were to remain physically naked, but I am sure that this early story speaks to the nature of the competing forces of truth and untruth. Additionally, I am not advocating for blind faith when it comes matters of investigation and evidence. Still, it just seems self-evident that when a close and rational approach gives an outcome consistent with experience, it may be time to cease a fruitless debate and move on. In short, we know the truth.
For everyone’s benefit, I’ll keep wearing clothes, but I’ll not soon cover the truth if I can help it.
Will you join me?
Kent Simmons is the pastor of Canyon Community Church in Kingman, AZ.