We all hide. We all have parts of our stories that stir embarrassment and shame. And we are all experts in designing custom fig leaves to keep our vulnerable self from being exposed.
It’s natural to fear exposure and want to hide. When we find ourselves in embarrassing situations we quickly hide our face, our bodies, or whatever is open to the gaze of others. And more than just hide, we seek to cover our shame with something else – our fig leaf.
While physically we might try to cover ourselves with our hands or a piece of clothes, relationally we might hide behind our bravado, knowledge, or even our acts of service.
For instance, the fear of appearing weak might motivate us to design a fig leaf of overconfidence. We become overly aggressive to hide those parts of us we perceive as too tender or vulnerable. Likewise, we might hide behind having all the right answers to keep those uncertain parts of us hidden. Or, behind our service to others to keep our loneliness and desires for connection from being exposed.
We all hide. And we all have our custom ways of hiding. However, in hiding, we keep ourselves from being truly known. Even the most elaborate of fig leaves still keeps a barrier between us and others, and sometimes even a barrier between us and our very selves, our own hearts.
What is your fig leaf?
Often we need others to point this out. We’ve worn our custom leaves for so long we have forgotten we are still hiding. Discovering our fig leaves allows us to come out of hiding and reveal our true selves. And now naked and without shame we can confidently move towards God’s best for us – in our life and in our relationships.