Making Fig Leaves

“Only grace through love can overcome my shame.”  

Adam and Eve took a huge risk in eating from the tree of knowldege in the garden. They risked a beautiful relationship built on freedom and trust with the loving God. As a result of that risk, their  relationship changed in their eyes. See this from Genesis 3…6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. 7 Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. 8 When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God. 9 God called to the Man: “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” 11 God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” 12 The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.” God said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?” 13 “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”

We continue to “sew fig leaves” each and every day. The insidiousness of all of this is that I don’t even know how to sew and don’t want to spend the time learning to sew. Yet, I do it automatically, “sewing fig leaves” from my shame story. You do it too, don’t you. My fig leaves take the shape of blaming, making excuses for myself and justifying my behaviors when I’m hurt or when I hurt others. Some of you may withdraw or run, that is sewing a fig leaf too. Hiding takes many forms and shapes.

When I go back to the garden I see that the first Man and Woman initiated this “fig leaf sewing” and it has been passed on to all of us. No one escapes the fact that they have a shame story.

Now back to the statement that started this blogpost – “Only grace through love can overcome my shame.”  

There is hope for humanity. I like this… Jesus — full of grace and truth — lived among us (John 1:14-18), offering His love, to protect us. We see His love offered to others throughout the New Testament. His grace and truth was continuously demonstrated in relationships and he went to the Cross at Calvary to offer life to all who would receive His love. This offer, often referred to salvation, goes beyond a ticket to heaven. Receiving Christ’s love includes the reality that He, by faith, we receive His righteousness, we are made right with God  (2 Corithians 5:17-21) and are made new in Him. Wow! Our sin and shame was dealt with once and for all at Calvary. I’m not who I once was, and when I automatically start “sewing fig leaves” I can turn to Him (repentence) and claim what is true about me, I’ve been made new! Such sweet and good news it is…the “orginal good news”.

The statement – “Only grace through love can overcome my shame.” was first shared with me by my friends, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNichol and John Lynch through the book TrueFaced. Check them out! The truths they share will set you free to live life as you never have before.

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