We had just begun dating and I saw him from a distance coming towards me on a ski boat, wearing (ridiculously) threadbare cut-offs, tan bronzed skin, hair blown back and a smile that said, “I see you!”
I wanted nothing to be between us. I wanted to vault through the air, over the water and close the gap of separation.
He took my breath away.
So when I read this image in Genesis 2:25
“…and the man and the woman were naked and unashamed…”
To be naked – arom*– is to be vulnerable to God and to another.
Physical + emotional + spiritually = wholly integrated “nakedness.”
This place of returning,
to a garden,
one that holds life, delight and risk – the Garden of Eden.
I know what nakedness means and it returns me to this moment in my own history…the garden moments of my relationship beginning, the breathless places that held me before I knew fully how to hold them.
Over time, within marriage, I can often take this “naked” part and relegate it,
to the bedroom,
to between the sheets,
the hot heavy breathing of physical interchange.
The rhythm of knowing one another physically can become routine and vacant of the vulnerability of how God designed the engagement of man and woman.
To be open and vulnerable with my whole being is to engage with intention.
Is it still possible after 30+ years to continue to learn about how to be naked?
Can the learning how — the noticing — be part of what continues to unveil each of us to one another?
After these 30+ years of marriage, our love is now what might be called: comfortable. We carry our love and we know one another, often finishing one another’s sentences. Our love also has grown in the shared knowledge of intimate weakness’ and vulnerabilities.
There are plenty of ways in which we have wounded one another, taken advantage of our vulnerabilities and chosen to not be naked. But the choice to return to this beginning place is ours,
every minute of every day,
Yesterday I experienced it when I did not “feel like” hearing about his day – I was hurrying to finish tasks that were piled on my “to do” list. We both longed to be seen in that moment and I wondered…”What does naked and unashamed look like right now?”
I closed my computer,
turned my gaze directly into his crystal blue eyes,
listened to his familiar voice,
together we recounted our day,
naming and sharing the things that, for these daytime hours, had separated us.
The invitation was to return to the place of being
physically + emotionally + spiritually engaged with one another…
seeing one another right now in this moment and knowing that it would soon be part of our history. Together we could engage with this nakedness that God intended.
And then, the moment passed and we each went to our numerous tasks, but I know that, “to be or not to be” naked is a choice that continues to tutor me in marriage.