The bus smells of the man next to me who seems not to have bathed in a while and the too-much cologne slathered on by the college guys a row up.
We all sway as the bus hits an especially large pothole.
I glance at my friend a row back. She motions to the guy next to her and mouths, “Should I ask him to switch with you?”
I shrug and nod.
She angles towards him and I see a conversation take place, though the honking traffic outside prevents me from hearing.
She looks back at me, “He doesn’t want to move,” she reports back. It seems there’s something wrong with his arm and he’s hunkering down in the corner, trying to hide it from staring eyes.
We leave him alone.
Just that morning, I’d read Genesis 3. Adam’s statement struck me. “I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
I hide a lot.
I worry about getting caught “naked” – falling short, imperfect, damaged, broken.
I fear that if you know too much about me, you won’t want to stick around.
Talking about dating relationships, my friend Anna assured me this fear of rejection-if-you-get-too-close is common to the human condition.
It may be common, but it still makes me want to hunker down in the corner seat on the bus and hide.
I thought of the man with the withered hand in Mark 3.
I imagine him slipping into the temple, hoping to hear Jesus’ message that day and then get away quietly. Instead, he gets called up front to become that day’s object lesson. I imagine him trying to shrink into his tunic, trying to hide his crippled hand from the prying eyes and disgusted whispers. Jesus shows the whole watching world what this man’s issue is.
Then Jesus heals the hand.
And suddenly the man is whole.
And there’s nothing to hide anymore, nothing to be ashamed about.
Jesus said He came for the sick.
He said the weak things of the world had been chosen to shame the strong things.
He said the poor, the hungry, the meek, the broken are unimaginably blessed.
He said he came to clothe the naked and give rest to the weary.
And I wonder why I shrink back from His calling?
Why do I feel I must hide my weaknesses from Him?
Why do I worry He’ll reject me because of some flaw?
Why do I forget He’s the healer who makes me whole?
Today we do not have to live ashamed of our nakedness. Today we have been clothed with His righteousness.