I was waiting patiently in the van till my friend finished off his meeting. There had been a protest in town and the buses were less frequent and those that did come were jam packed. The storms around didn’t help the situation so I decided waiting was far better than trying to commute to get home. Trying to while away the time, I observed the road. I saw a lamp post. Through the pouring rain, the light seemed as if it was emitting sparks. I was thinking how interesting that the lamp post was actually intact but now that I was viewing it through the rain drops (I had no option but to given that it was raining cats and dogs), I saw a distorted image.
We do look at things through our own lenses that are conditioned by our experiences, our education, our culture, our upbringing, our exposure etc. Often these prohibit us from looking at something the way it actually is.
In fact, yesterday I was travelling back ‘home’ after having visited the North which is still recovering after being destructed by war and by natural disasters. The ‘facilities’ in the vicinities of our travel were not as modern as we are used to. In fact, I didn’t even have anyone to visit as all those whom I had interacted with decades ago had also left the place. The long drive home was through many deserted areas. A decent place to eat on the path is rare so you can just imagine that it is next to impossible to access decent toilets. I totally envied the guys travelling with me.
And it’s not a short journey where you can go without. We parked the van close to trees on a slope and the guys vamoosed to give me privacy. I couldn’t go right down the slope as it was dark and I was scared of whatever creatures would be there. On the other hand every time I attempted to squat, I would be totally conscious of the lights of the vehicles on the road. I was just too tensed that I couldn’t do it.
I was just thinking how embarassed I was even though it was to perform a natural act, an act that is very much important for our well being. Our bodies have been designed to do this on a regular basis. In fact holding it is not good for the system. God had created our bodies one way. The fall of man distorted the innocence of our bodies and brought about shame – shame to the extent that we are needing to prohibit our bodies functioning from the way God intended. We are looking at our bodies through our coloured lenses – of prejudices based on cultural and even religious values. God did design us to go to the toilet, He did design sexuality within the bounds of marriage, He did ordain for the female to get pregnant and deliver.
Yet how we struggle when we need to ‘expose’ what we view as ‘private’ parts even for these biological acts. I remember how much I squirmed with shame when I had to consult doctors and gynaecologists. It didn’t help that my regular doctor was a male and the specialist in the areas of consultation was a male too. They were not too happy about my shame either because it made their work harder. Eventually I had to get used to it.
Civilisation has its benefits for sure, but I just can’t help think at how much we have distorted God’s plan as a result of it. We are unable to look at our bodies innocently but rather we have created lenses that are vulgar. I wonder what God feels when our ‘shame’ takes over and makes us suppress the designs of the body, His design…. Isn’t this sin as we are over-ruling His design with our ‘values’? What about the situations when a woman is entrapped in danger either by natural disaster or by human error and she finds herself in a shameful way that she chooses death over life? How much have we conditioned our minds that ‘modesty’ is far more important than life or functions of the body? Is ‘modesty’ how much we reveal or is it displayed in the way we behave? Well, I do know so many women who dress so conservatively and people admire their ‘modesty’ but all along their deeds are in darkness, in hiding. On the other hand, I know of women who are in touch with reality, and dress in a manner that is relatively revealing comparatively to the conservative woman, but their deeds are in the open in the light…. Their behaviour is modest.
Abusive men like to conquer their prey… They don’t want women who yield in an instant as it takes away their thirst for power and control. The conservatively dressed becomes their targets as they feel that these women will inhibit shyness but yet be submissive to their demands. THe woman who isn’t as conservatively dressed is seen as being assertive and they can’t get their way. Of course, overly revealing while putting everything on display is also an invitation to men to being used and abused.
Anyway I’m just thinking out loud – wondering whether civilisation and modernisation of man has helped us to move away from God’s design and whether that had led us to sin, to act in accordance to what WE think is right as opposed to what God would want us to do?
Food for thought… for you as much as for me!!!