Sunday, August 3, 2008

Super brand

Is there a certain brand of clothing that you especially like? Just the top of my head, I know the brand Levi’s has got a certain standing among many. Abercrombie and Fitch is quite a popular clothing brand as well. So are MNG, Gap, Guess, Ralph Lauren, and Benetton. Let’s not even get into designer wear. The list is endless!

I ask because something has got me thinking. At school yesterday, one of my colleagues made a very interesting comment to another colleague of mine. They were both looking at a cartoon showing the evolution of man, and the picture of the man in the cartoon was naked. My colleague said that we use clothes because of our sins, to cover them; if we had not sins, we wouldn’t need any clothes. Now, such an observation from this colleague of mine was out of the ordinary and by him making such a statement made the whole thing even more intriguing. I took a mental note of it and promised myself to look it up.

My finding? Clothes were indeed first mentioned in the Bible after Adam and Eve sinned. In the last verse of the previous chapter, we read that Adam and Eve were both naked but were not ashamed. Yet, here after having eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were still in the same state of nakedness, but their eyes were ‘opened’ and they sewed fig leaves together to make loincloths for themselves. They seemed ashamed of their nakedness.

But I think there’s more to it than just plain nakedness. I think their eyes were opened not only to the state of nakedness, but also to the realization that they have done wrong. They had committed sin. And in wanting to hide their sin from God, Adam and Eve not only hid themselves among the trees in the Garden of Eden, but also covered their loins with the fig leaves. And when God calls out to them, here’s Adam’s reply:

"I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
Gen 3:10

Adam’s response to God shows that, although both he and Eve had already covered themselves, both still saw themselves as naked. What they had done to cover themselves was not enough. And so:

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
Gen 3:21

God did what Adam and Eve couldn’t do. He clothed them, and they were covered.

Perhaps, this incident explains why we are quite preoccupied with our image today. We want to look good, and so we dress up. We find the best brands we can afford, because by wearing them (so we are led to believe), we are special, of a certain class, successful. What drives this passionate want for clothing? Perhaps, deep down inside, our own eyes have been ‘opened’, and we see that there is something that is niggling at us, the inadequacy of our self, something that is telling us that we are not as good as what we think, and so we hide in our clothes.

But it seems no matter how famous or how expensive the clothes we wear, we still desire for more. Maybe our position is something like Adam and Eve’s: we try our best to cover ourselves with whatever we can get our hands on. But, it’s never sufficient, never good enough, never adequate.

But you know what? Like what God did with Adam and Eve, He has also already done for all. He has taken it upon Himself to do what we cannot do by our own power. He has made a covering in order to clothe us from the nakedness of our sins; to clothe us, so that there is no more shame in us. If only we accepted His offer to do so. It's THE best brand!

Nuggets of truth from such an unlikely source. God really does work in mysterious ways!

1 comment:

Nick Phillips said...

I'm a God fearing man and I truly believe God works in many mysterious ways but I think people these days wear these branded clothes as a kind of status symbol that they've either made it in life or are of a different class from the rest of the world. As for me, I'm pretty happy with the clothes I find from my regular hypermarket :D