You and me are supposed to be naked right now. That was God’s plan… for all of us to be naked and unashamed. The idea doesn’t sound so bad, honestly. Kids in school wouldn’t have the latest name brands to separate themselves into social hierarchies. And ladies, many of you would be filthy rich if you didn’t have to buy those cute little dresses to wear for that thing you went to once. And don’t get me started on shoes.
The Bible explains that our awareness and embarrassment came as a result of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That fruit brought us Polo, Gucci, and yes… even Hanes and their tagless tees and briefs. It also got Adam and Eve cursed and booted out of the Garden of Eden.
But I recently realized that I was missing part of the story… a part that changes everything, really.
Yes, Adam and Eve ate the fruit and immediately noticed they were showing their goodies to all of creation. So they hid from God (good luck with that). When God found them and they explained why they “needed” to create this hideous new fig leaf fashion, God explained what the punishment for their actions was going to be. But before He sent them out of the Garden… He blessed them.
Wait… what? Yes, God blessed Adam and Eve with animal skin for clothing. He loved them so much that He wanted them to have the best of what was available, even though He created them to not “need” clothes in the first place. Their disobedience had consequences, but it did not change the fact that God loved them.
God is still doing this today. We live in a place that by its perfect design will take care of us. Our bodies are designed to live entirely off the land. But we have created these invisible systems called “economies” that dominate countries and start wars. The driving force of every economy is money… what used to be a piece of metal or paper but is now more of an intangible symbol on a computer screen. That symbol is what we “need” to survive now. It’s what we work for, fight over, and reward ourselves with.
We use it to decide who gets power and who gets forgotten. We “need” it in order to feed our families and give them shelter. We’ve been trained to stake our entire existence on something that often comes and goes without warning or even a good explanation. And we’re told that if we have plenty of it, our relationships will all fall into place and we will be fulfilled. But let’s be honest… we really suck at creating our own utopia.
Other than the occasional meal, we were created to not NEED anything but a relationship with God and each other. People in the poorest economies on Earth invest heavily in those two things, and are very often more fulfilled than the millionaire who has spent his/her entire life pursuing monetary success. Did you know that Pablo Picasso burned his paintings in his 20’s just to keep warm? One of his paintings sold in 2013 for $155 million, by the way.
Money is just another wave of fig leaf fashion.
In a strange way, it’s another picture of God’s love. He gives money to those of us who feel like we cannot survive without it. To some more than others, sure. The faithful among us choose to use that money to bless Him back, but how easy would it be for Him to rip this dangerous invention of ours away in order to teach us what’s really important for our survival? But no, He still wants to take care of us and provide for us… even if He’s providing something we weren’t designed to “need” in the first place.