Summary: Our attempts to fashion our own cover-up for our sin predicament never works out. My friend’s grandmother had a humorous clothing solution that makes a great metaphor for our sinful state of affairs. Article for

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A friend of mine told me about her grandmother in a way that is hard to forget. Let’s see if I can paint the picture like Alexa did. (And no, that’s not her real name.)

Apparently Alexa’s Nana was so large she would sew her own clothing. She was resourceful, but not a tailor in the category of “clothing designer”. Far from it--She would take two huge beach towels and sew up the top and sides leaving room for her arms and head to fit though. To her, it met a need in a cost-efficient way. But, this method certainly had its draw backs.

One day while Nana bent over to throw a log on to the campfire it became excruciatingly obvious she did not have a scheme for sewing undergarments of the beach towel variety or any other. Apparently age six is a tender age to discover this couture omission.

Our own cover-up jobs are really just as awful. Do you remember the fig leave couture from Adam and Eve after they realized their sin? It wasn’t the best either. Any way we try to handle a situation without God’s expert help, we design a big mess for ourselves. Whether we cover up sin, or hide it from God is immaterial. God is everywhere and knows everything. See in David’s Psalm:

Psalm 7-12 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there;

if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon

or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me;

Your right hand will hold on to me. If I say, ";Surely the darkness will hide me,

and the light around me will become night"; even the darkness is not dark to You.

The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.

There is no cover up job we can do that will cover all our bad angels, or indecencies. WE only deceive ourselves. We are laid bare before an all-knowing God. This fact used to scare me. I remember being five years old and hiding under my bedcovers with the knowledge that God saw everything and I would think, “I wish he couldn’t see me here; I was just doing something bad.”

Even at five I knew my heart was impure. We all are conscious of our failures, slip-ups and transgressions. Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, "I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin"?”

But just as important as feeling rightfully guilty over our sin is to realize God has the power and will to forgive us upon our repentance. We are already exposed, but when we admit our wrong and stop hiding it from ourselves, we get the most relief. We honor God and get things back in order. He utterly forgives. Forgiveness is a big stress-reliever. Covering up is a gigantic and painstaking job. We keep trying to sew bigger beach towels to do the job, but we always end up with a mini-dress and no plan for underwear. We can never find rest until we fire ourselves as our own fashion designer.

When we bring our sinful insides to Him, he will be faithful and not just forgive us, but remember them no more. We might dredge them up for another look, but He doesn’t keep score.

See again David writes Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”

In days of old the ancient Israelites and other cultures killed animals as payment for sins. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice was the final sacrifice needed. As a perfect sacrifice, Jesus shed his innocent blood to pay for us. Innocent blood bought us back, thus God Himself through His Son paid the price. That payment cancels the debt we all owe. It covers forever our wrongs and offers forgiveness to those who ask for it.

Psalm 85:2 declares, “You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.“

We can stop hiding under our own silly cover-up schemes. Like an uninformed attempt to stretch too little fabric over too big a body, our individual attempts to fashion things are really just lies to ourselves. Plus, God knows our predicament. Only the matchless payment of Our redeemer Jesus will cloth us. But it won’t cloth us with some ratty old towel. He will cloth us like royalty. He’ll replace our ridiculous coverings with kingly garments and make us wholly new and newly whole. Our conventions never do the trick, we can take it from Alexa’s “beach towel Nana” story as a metaphor to remember how we always fall short on our own.


Lisa DeLay writer/speaker/ fouder

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