There are a variety of humbling experiences we endure during a lifetime. While it may not be number one, wearing a wet suit makes the top ten. I’ve worn a wet suit on a number of times, and I have never found it flattering to my figure. In fact I haven’t seen it to be flattering to hardly anyone’s figure. On several whitewater trips I have worn a wet suit to insulate myself from the cold water. While it protected me from the cold it must have been frightening for others to see me wear. Once we had a carnival at the church and I was asked to be the target in the dunking booth, and since it was November, I once again slithered into a wet suit. It was not a pretty sight.
Anyone who wears a wet suit looks like they have been poured into the suit. This of course is the point, to trap the heat on the inside and keep the cold water on the outside. Outfits like wet suits tell the truth, they don’t lie. We know exactly what we are shaped like in a wet suit and that’s a scary thought. With a wet suit on we can tell if we have been eating donuts or fat free pretzels. In a wet suit people know if we have been working out or sitting in the recliner.
Not long ago I saw an interview with a teenager who had lost one hundred pounds. He said when he was sixteen years old he weighted close to 275 pounds. He admitted he had never considered himself overweight until one day when he was on a field trip Nashville. The class was walking back to the bus and they passed one of those tall high rises with mirrored-glass from the top to the ground. When he walked by and saw his reflection in the mirrored-glass he was startled to see his profile. He confessed he actually had to take a second look he was so surprised. Admittedly he knew he was big but he never thought he looked like a heavier Alfred Hitchcock. Immediately he decided to do something about his weight and by the time he graduated he had lost 100 pounds.
Wearing wet suits and seeing ourselves in the mirror can be humbling and eye-opening experiences. Yet we work hard at never having to see ourselves in these situations. A suit on a man can hide what a wet suit reveals. A woman’s baggy blouse covers a multitude of problems that a wet suit uncovers. We labor to never see ourselves as we are and we work even harder to never let others see us as we are.
Not only do we hide our true selves when it comes to fashion we also hide ourselves spiritually and emotionally. Like Adam and Eve in the garden we are always looking for some place to hide. We are afraid of admitting what we already know and what others suspect and that is we are flawed sinners.
Don’t go out and buy a wet suit but the time has come to tell the truth. To admit who we are. God knows already who we are. We wear a spiritual wet suit all our lives. God knows our flaws, our sinful behavior, and our fears. God knows where every roll and bump is and he loves us anyway.
It is written in the scripture, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” We are set free when we are ready to admit to God we are lost, struggling sinners. The truth hurts but it frees. Once we tell ourselves the truth we are liberated to give ourselves to the one who loves us the most. Let us stop deceiving ourselves and tell the truth. We are lost in need of guidance, we are sinners in need of forgiveness, we are fearful in need of comfort. Then we will be set free.