This was originally published in Issue 2 of The Huntingtonian on October 12th, 2006. More of my thoughts on this topic may be found in this post.
We should all be naked.
I spent last Friday night at Warsaw Community Church drinking in the words of Donald Miller (yes, the Blue Like Jazz guy) as he delivered his thoughts on the human condition. Don’t worry; he’s a wonderful public speaker.
Miller referred the audience to many of the conflicts we see in the world today and proposed that Genesis explains them all. But instead of looking at the fall the way most of us are used to hearing it explained, he presented a new idea. First of all, he concedes that the text allows for literal or non literal translation (he affirms the former). Then he draws attention to the odd references the author makes to the nudity of Adam and Eve found late in chapter two and early in three. He uses this to say that the human condition is explained in Genesis within a matter of paragraphs, where all of the writings of Freud failed. His point was this: before the fall, humans were naked and didn’t care.
What does it take to be naked and not care? Miller says that God’s love and acceptance was pouring into man in such great amount that man didn’t care whether or not he was naked. After the fall, however, man looked for that perfect acceptance from other men. They hid. They were ashamed. They desired acceptance.
Fast forward to today. We hide. We are ashamed. We desire acceptance.
So conflict, human struggle, confusing emotion, all of it stems from the fact that we can’t be naked without knowing it. The first line of this column may have made you laugh initially – but then again, Miller might just be on to something.