This morning, I was naked.
I realized that I couldn’t fully understand one of the subjects I write about — nudism — unless I experienced it for myself.
I was only naked in my room. And all I did is walk around it: I didn’t want to get my bed or floor germ-y by putting my butt on them. Sitting on my legs while naked is uncomfortable.
Being naked, at first, felt arousing. But I told myself “I’m not naked in order to get aroused,” and then I felt more at peace about my choice to be naked because I knew that I wasn’t doing it for a selfish reason. (i.e., To more easily pleasure myself.)
I did experience pleasure while naked but, working to banish lustful thoughts from my mind by praying, it wasn’t sexual pleasure.
I struggle with pride. I have to constantly tell myself “I’m not the best ever.” Which is one of the reasons why I found being naked to be a pleasurable experience: I was reminded of who I am: A human being made in God’s image and likeness. (Genesis 1:27) Nothing more. Nothing less. I found being naked to be a humbling experience for the reason that I always thought it would be humbling: All that I physically am is visible. There were no clothes that could make me feel like I was anything other than who I am: A being created by God, whose purpose is to find, and do, whatever He created me to do.
Naked I came from my mother’s womb…
~ Job 1:21
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
~ Jeremiah 1:5
Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.
~ 1 Samuel 3:10
Being naked isn’t a means of attaining inner peace. But: Being naked can direct a person towards the source of inner peace: God.
God saw that Adam and Eve were naked, and said it is “very good.” (Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:25) And every good thing, ultimately, comes from God. (James 1:17)
I will not substitute being naked for praying.
I will not make an idol out of the non-sexual pleasure that came with being naked.
What I will do, is allow the humility that being naked made me feel to direct my heart to the only one who can satisfy my deepest, most desperate desires.
You’re not a freak or a pervert if you want to be naked. God meant for you to be naked. And then Adam’s and Eve’s sin changed everything. (Genesis 3:7)
I see the desire to be naked as a desire to return to God — a desire to reclaim the relationship with God, the relationship with our fellow human beings, and the relationship with the world, that was lost as a result of Adam’s and Eve’s sin.
We can’t do that. We can’t live like Adam and Eve lived before the Fall. Not in this life.
We’re not perfect. And taking off clothes isn’t going to make us perfect.
But, as I discovered today, what taking off clothes can do, is this:
Remind us why we should never stop striving to be perfect (Matthew 5:48):
So that, at the end of our life, God will say to us:
Well done my good and faithful servant.
~ Matthew 25:23