“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
funny how the word “naked” always evokes that extra interest. basic instinct maybe? but come to think of it. our nakedness is basic in our humanity. we were born naked. and would pass on the same way too. no matter how we would eventually be clothed in the end.
i remember when my cousin khan passed away. she was in her early 20s. initially, she wore our aunt’s conservative barong terno especially made for a wedding ceremony. everyone noticed how khan’s face looked so unhappy. you see, khan was a fashionista. it was really awkward to see her that young and dead. but wear that terno and that short hair? eeewww! like she was forced by death to look 30 years older. and we could almost hear her scream, “get me out of here!!!” in reference to her outfit. not her coffin.
so my sister and younger cousins decided to buy her a more suitable lavender spaghetti strapped dress with a matching see-through shawl to cover her shoulder. the ensemble showed how pretty and young she was, yet still retained that statuesque dignity only khan could get away with. we can always argue about this. but believe it or not, from then on, her face glowed in serene approval and it was like she smiled all the way to her grave.
the truth is, we didn’t really care how we were dressed up when we were born. likewise, it wouldn’t matter too when we pass on. our life is a personal relationship with our Creator. it will always be between ourselves and Him. nothing more. nothing less. whatever we had after we were born – family, clothing, shelter, riches – these are just add ons to our journey that we are trusted to enrich our lives with. we don’t take them beyond our destination. because in the end, our accountability is what have we done with our life. with or without the add-ons.
remember the story of Job. he was an upright man who feared God and shunned evil. he was prosperous and God blessed him with seven sons and three daughters. but Satan was allowed to test his faith. everything he had was taken away. even his family. his whole body was smitten by Satan with dreadful boils. still he persevered in his faith. when his wife prompted him to curse God and die, Job replied “You speak as the one of the foolish speaks. Moreover, shall we receive good from God and not receive evil?”
in the end, Job got well again, regain his possessions and had ten more children living to see the fourth generation and died in peace at the old age of 140.
when we lose someone or something we hold dear – loved ones, job, home, money, health etc. – let us remember that all are God’s blessings to us. He has the power to give, yet take away in His time. we must be resigned to all sufferings, as much as we delight in all the blessings. not because He is God and we are just His creations. but because we trust that God knows what is best for us. though His mysterious ways leave us often confused and puzzled; so that we tend to ask why, and expect the answer right away.
“there is nothing permanent in this world. not even our troubles.” Charlie Chaplin once said. today may be your bad day. but from my experience, from these bad days, the best of mine always follow.
we may be stripped of anything and everything, but in all our humble nakedness, our Creator clothes us with the assurance that he would take care of everything. and if we sincerely believe, we could actually feel that warmth of his love.
that’s the naked truth.