Saturday, October 8, 2011

Walking Naked into the Arms of God

A couple walked down Garden Street in Pensacola, Florida about 6 PM. As I drove by I could see that she helped him by her two-handed grasp of his left arm. I had just left the health food store and perhaps they were walking to it. What caught my eye at a distance was their attire - she wore a long flowing skirt, a white full blouse and on top of her head a floppy straw hat, her long hair hanging down. He was dressed in an equally full shirt, his pants unnoticed by me. The entire effect of their appearance to me was a portrayal in cloth of the 60's hippie era. Their age and his feebleness stood out as my car moved closer. A rush of thought came to me as I passed the couple by and I knew I had to write these thoughts down and to title them: Walking Naked Into the Arms of God.  I know this is quite a serious title deriving from my simple observations while passing on the street. But don't small things make up the whole? In this case it is constructed from the accumulation of many experiences and observations as well as of stored and currently being formed thoughts and beliefs. All of these shape what we think by what we believe we know.

People dress for a reason and with intent, all but the poorest of the poor who very well may have no choice of what they put on their bodies. Even those who have no choice, such as jail inmates, frequently tattoo themselves to say who they are. Dress for success.  A wedding dress, military uniform, low-riding pants, these all speak to who we are or want to be. Remember when people wore their ball caps with the price tags still on them? What was THAT about? Indian headdress, gang colors, performers, athletic types - all these forms of dress say something about the individual wearing them and they are an outward sign of who and what the person wearing the clothing is or stands for.

This particular couple's effect of dress upon me was what I associated an era and a lifestyle with. As I approached them, I thought - hippies. I even thought that there was a possibility that they were headed to Everman's, the health food store I had just left as they were headed in that direction. At that time of day there are very few stores open in that direction. As I came closer I could see that they were advanced in years and he was rather unsteady and so the effect of their clothing at close range lessened. When I passed them my thoughts went an entirely different direction than a assessment of what type lifestyle they adhere to - it changed to what we hold so dear, strive to portray and maybe believe so fervently in - how it fades with age. The passing of time since I have been here - 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and soon it will be through 2011 has seen devotees to lifestyle and different mindsets but then doesn't everything change? Next then I thought how really we all arrived in this world naked, which is how we will also depart it - not literally of course as what an unsightly viewing that would be, but you get the point.
And the world and its desires are coming to an end: but he who does God's pleasure is living for ever. I John 2:17

1 comment:

  1. ...appreciate your article and struggle to remember what Garden Street was really like when i was there last...heard a story recently about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden...God came walking through the garden and asked Adam where he was (that's strange because God is omniscient) the impression that God often walked through the garden and He often did it with Adam and if Adam and Eve regularly hung out with God...but after they ate that fruit, they stopped hanging out with God and hid themselves, in shame...we know the rest of the story - not counting the leaves, their first clothing was animal skin...knowing how well the Lord does everything, that post-Eden wardrobe must have been the best leather clothing ever made, past and present...what kind of price tag would go on clothing like that?