Open Up!

We wanted to take our bath that Saturday morning but it felt awkward having to take our baths together. As we stared at ourselves in the ceramic bathtub, the unspoken words between my cousin and I were loud and clear.

No one wanted to remove his pants first.

Just about turning thirteen at that time, we were two young boys crazy about the new crop of pubic hair just beginning to sprout. It was private matter, not ‘public’ hair.

But my aunty didn’t understand that. She just prepared warm water in a single pail and closed the door behind her. She didn’t know that these boys were no longer small boys – thirteen years wasn’t a joke.

“What are they covering, let them bath together.” She must have thought.

Minutes passed and no one moved.

Finally, we reached a compromise: we agreed to pull down our pants at the same time – at the count of three.

One. Two. Three.

Down the covering went and I guess we must have giggled in the process. But, I can remember it wasn’t so embarrassing after all… we didn’t feel exposed. We were boys.

I think of this when I remember Jesus telling us to “Open up to Me.”

Well, not literarily, but what of when Jesus says “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”? [Matt 11:28-30]

It sounds to me like “Come to me and open up. I will not despise you. I will help you.”

When Jesus says come with me, he means open yourself to me. Let me help you.

There’s a high chance that you are like me: I had a crop of pubic hair to cover. You have dark pasts and present personal struggles, so bad that it’s shameful to speak of it in the open.

Opening up may sound like exposure. But it’s not shameful afterall. He knows our thoughts, our secrets and shameful details our lives. Those acts we would rather cover up.

But he wants to take these details upon himself and liberate us. God who knows the end from the beginning isn’t myopic in perspective. He chooses to see what He wants to make us and then works in us to get us there.

He will take us from where we are and help us work our way up. At the end of yourself is the beginning of God’s grace [Phil 2:13]

Surprisingly, it’s not shame you feel when you open up. Rather he wraps us with mercy and love and teaches us the way to go. Ps 32:8

Open up and be helped.

Young girl reaching for airborne bubbles

Have a wonderful week,

Toluwanimi

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