Some months ago, I stumbled onto the “reality” show “Naked & Afraid.” For the uninformed, a man and a woman get naked in the jungle where they try to manage (survive) 21 days and nights in the wild and the buff. Get real! I wear a long sleeve shirt to mow the lawn in August to protect myself from bugs and mosquitoes. The show asks me to stretch my imagination to think people would expose their total bodies to creepy crawlers and flying insects? Snakes?
Then someone told me about “Naked Shopping.” People go shopping for furniture while naked. I will never shop again without an industrial size spray can of Lysol in hand.
Now! There is TV show called “Naked Dating.”
I don’t go looking for these shows. They show up next to the Cubs on WGN or the Weather Channel. Creep me out! Of course they blur the pixels and there is no actual visible nakedness. (I was going use the word nude, but I reserve that word for beautiful and classic art. This is naked! Like the difference between fiddle and violin.)
On my way to see if it is going to rain tomorrow, there was Naked Dating. Not a stitch! But the woman was wearing high heels. Naked and high heels. How real is that? What kind of people audition for these shows?
One of my cyber-magazines reported that Robin Williams accepted Jesus during his last rehab stay. The source is solid. I saw a clip of a Williams’ routine last evening. He said he saw a guy with a sign, “Unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” Williams asked the sign carrier, “You goin’? If so, I’m not.” The crowd laughed and applauded. So did I. The Kansas church that protests at funerals is going to carry their terrible signs at Robin Williams’ funeral and I want to use his line. I don’t want to be identified with them—if that is what God’s kingdom is—count me out. What kind of people sign up for membership class at that church?
I finished Jen Hatmaker’s Interrupted—When Jesus Wrecks your Comfortable Christianity. (NavPress, 2014).
I have battled my way through this book twice. Once when it was new—first edition and now Interrupted-2.0. I want to know what kind of person does Jesus call to this missional life?
I don’t do naked, tattoos, piercings or motorcycles. If any of those are pre-requisites, then I’m not a front row candidate. Ms. Hatmaker’s appeal is not to mimic her or Brandon or even adopt someone, but to abandon what she calls comfortable Christianity.
Prophets can be irritating and bristly. Prophet Jen’s words sometimes are like a wire brush rubbing old, cracked paint off a building. That’s not too comfortable! So I calculate the opposite of her usage of the word comfortable.
Being where I am stretched to the limit and enjoying it. We once called that being in the center of God’s will. Comfortable is adding value to people. I celebrate every tattoo that lady has because it gives her credibility with those God wants her to minister. I have no tattoo, don’t plan to and I know my voice among the bike crowd is weak and lacking. As long as she and her tribe are doing their work with the Harley group, I’m comfortable.
We were in a missional church months ago. The altar ministry song said, “Lord, whatever You are doing in this season, don’t do it without me.” Put me where I can be of most Kingdom value and most productive—I’m comfortable with that.
That’s the naked truth.
(c)2014 D. Dean Benton
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