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“NAKED GUY” – July 10

July 10, 2013

“…the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot.  Then the Lord said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years…” Isaiah 20:2-3

There is a naked guy down at the pool.  To be fair, he is not naked all of the time but he is naked way beyond my comfort level.

2005_12_04
2005_12_04 (Photo credit: DennisSylvesterHurd)

This particular individual feels that it is necessary to be al natural while showering off pool water.  He is the only individual who takes this approach.  Everyone else leaves their swimsuit on while showering.  Most use the communal shower pole to wash the chlorine off of their skin and out of their suits in one efficient, modest, activity.  Naked guy does not take this approach, to my consternation.

I became acquainted with naked guy a while back after a particularly good swim.  I rounded the corner into the men’s shower and was caught unaware by naked guy.  There naked guy stood with suds flowing down over all his “overish-ness”; Over fifty and over-weight do not a good naked combination make.  First impressions are difficult to overcome, add nudity, and it becomes nearly impossible.

Unfortunately, that has not been my only exposure to all that is naked guy.  My timing has been poor on a couple of other occasions.  There will be naked guy, one arm extended over his head, leaning against the shower pole, looking over with a “hey” greeting.  I work so very hard to maintain eye contact or look at anything other than naked guy but it is sort of like a car wreck.  At some point, you have to sneak a peek.  I regret every peek that I have ever sneaked.  Curse you, naked guy; I am forever scared by those mental pictures.

Needless to say, I am very uncomfortable around naked guy.

The Prophet IsaiahI cannot imagine Isaiah’s reaction when God told him to become naked guy.  Even worse, he was told to be a full-time, naked guy for a three year term.  That had to have had an impact on his social life.  I don’t know if an Old Testament prophet had much of a social life to start with but refusing to get dressed probably would have put the dampers on dinner party invitations.  My own family would send me packing if I showed up at Thanksgiving with my only dressing being in a bowl.

Those had to have been some lonely years for Isaiah.  He was being obedient to God’s directing and made everyone uncomfortable in the process.  The words of Isaiah’s prophecy would have been uncomfortable enough.  It had to get even more uncomfortable when the prophet went naked guy.

Isaiah’s obedience is remarkable.

I realize that my belief in Christ has made some people uncomfortable.  Conversations have been steered away from the spiritual.  Invitations have been withheld.  Facebook “friends” have disappeared.  Snide comments have been posted to my writing.  The intellectually superior have dismissed my ignorant position.

However, none of that comes close to the stigma of being naked guy for three years.

Following Christ has never been the path to popularity.  We have been called to love God above everything else – even other people’s opinions of us.  Loneliness has been the price of obedience for many who have been called to difficult paths.

Isaiah’s obedience confronts our willingness to follow Christ.  How unreservedly will you follow?  Thankfully, getting naked in public is against the law so that is a good out.  But seriously, how far does acceptable obedience go?  The problem comes when God calls His children to what most consider the unreasonable.  The Bible is full of examples of God calling his disciples, apostles, and prophets to unreasonable acts of obedience.

What is acceptable giving?
What is acceptable service?
What is acceptable sacrifice?
What is acceptable suffering?

How far does your obedience go?

Does it go to the modern version of naked guy?

PRAYER: Lord, may there be no limits to my willingness to follow you.  You know my heart and how much the thought of being naked guy scares me.  Examine my heart – show me what holds me back from the unreasonable.  All that you direct is reasonable and good.  Help me to love you with all that I am.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

14 comments

  1. […] Naked Guy […]


  2. You are such a talented writer! Well done. Thank you for a reminder if what a radical faith we hold and how it will require everything of us if we are truly submitted to Christ.


  3. I’ve had a good belly laugh for the day now, thank you! Actually, I had never really pondered this story–it is all too easy to read these things and not connect them with real people who were living out incredibly difficult acts of obedience. I love your insights!


  4. Funny post. My husband used to complain about a naked guy at the gym. They guy used to get naked and stand on the benches in the locker room. Strange. What a great post over all.


  5. Great post! Funny, but with a great point (no pun intended).


  6. So true. I have discovered the perfect way to get rid of twitter people that you don’t want .. just make a post about God and they will leave in droves. But those that are thirsty will stick and come back to drink 🙂


  7. Awesome post! 🙂 A really memorable lesson about commitment to Christ. . .thanks for writing and for continuing to be such a constant inspiration!


  8. I’m all over obedience…so long as it doesn’t involve “naked!” (Oh, please, Lord!) For much of my life I’ve been the oddball – way out there, doing my best to follow the Lord. It is a very lonely life, sometimes, especially when those closest to me don’t “get it.”

    But to put obedience in light of being “naked.” Wow. That’s intense. I’ll have to think about that one a bit. I guess since, as you pointed out, naked in public is illegal, perhaps being emotionally naked would be today’s equivalent. Being honest about who we are, instead of trying to “dress up” in spirituality to fit in would probably disqualify one, hmm?


  9. I long to reach that place where what God thinks of me is the only thing that matters; regardless of rejection or ridicule. Thank you, JD, for spurring me on in this…


  10. Ok man, I happen to know of this naked guy you speak of. Your post made me laugh. And, I was convicted. All too often I view my own “sacrifices” with pride. I need to continue to work on my heart and be ready for what God may ask me to do next. In most cases, God is still allowing me to shower with my spriritual trunks on. Looks like I’ve got some distance to go before I can claim I am truly giving all of me.


  11. I thank God that Christ came to fulfill the law and no one needs to run around naked anymore! 😀


  12. JD, I really connected with your comment, ‘Loneliness has been the price of obedience for many who have been called to difficult paths.’ I have experienced this first-hand with a few of the things in life that God has asked of me, things which often did not make sense. Thanks so much…BTW, the naked guy analogy was hilarious!


  13. J.D., you developed this thought nicely, as usual. I agree that it is not about nakedness, nor prudishness…but about obedience. Peace be unto you.


  14. This is great! I used to say, “at least He isn’t sending me to Africa” but then submission kicked in and now I can say, “ok Lord, if you say, I’ll go to Africa” But yikes! naked for 3 years! That’s a LONG time! I know what his wife’s prayers were! Funny post, but really good thoughts!



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