Love via Clothes

This past week, my best friend lost her dad. And although the loss wasn’t mine, it felt like a brick wall. Memories flooded in with the grief and my inability to do or fix anything, left me asking those questions we ask when facing pain and mortality.

I knew most of the answers, but I didn’t feel them. I wanted to know that God loves us. And the idea of picking and choosing random verses provided me with no comfort. I didn’t need words, I needed context.

So I did the only thing I could think to do, I went back to the beginning, to Genesis, and found hope and love in an unlikely sentence.

“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” – Genesis 3:21

It may not sound like comfort to you, but it is exactly what I needed to hear. Why? Because we all know the first story- Adam and Eve took a bite of the forbidden apple committing the original sin, they realized they were naked, they covered themselves with fig leaves, God punished them with pains of childbirth and working the land, He banished them from the Garden of Eden, and paradise was lost- but I hadn’t paid attention to what happened between the punishment and the banishment.

God clothed them.

Am I the only one who had imagined Adam and Eve wearing the fig leaves on their way out of Eden? They didn’t.

Although God was disappointed and angry in their choice, He still loved them. He loved them enough to not send them out into the world wearing leaves.

This verse, more than any other, makes God seem like a parent to me.

Because I know there will be a day when my daughter has to receive a punishment that I won’t be able to prevent, a consequence for a poor choice she is bound to make, and while I won’t stop it from coming, I will do everything in my power to prepare her for it.

I will remind her I love her and I will feed her and I will clothe her and I will pray over her and with her for as long as I can. And then I will wait for her to come home.

God knew what we would be facing. He knew the labor and the pain and the hurt and the sickness and the betrayals. But before sending us to face our consequences, He prepares us.

He has told us He loves us. He has fed us. He has clothed us. He has prayed for us and over us and with us.

And while we walk through the hurt and the pain of being sinners, God is waiting for us to come home.

“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”

– Deuteronomy 8:3-10

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