The Man Who Got Naked
The time period was the 13th century. He was born into a very wealthy family where he never wanted for anything. His father was into the fashion industry and extremely wealthy. He enrolled in the army as a soldier and went off to war.
Upon his return, the wealthy son was approached by a beggar one day. Coming from a family who never involved themselves in acts of charity, he surprised everyone present by giving him some money. His friends chided and mocked him for such ludicrous behaviour.
As the beggar made his way off with the little he had, the wealthy young man dropped all the clothes he was selling and ran after him. Standing before him silently, he empties his pockets of all his money and gave everything he had to the beggar. Perhaps his friends told on him, but his father found out. He discovered where he was and dragged him home in the sight of everyone and beat him within an inch of his life.
The boy was so distraught he went and hid in the nearby mountains for a month. Finally, tired and hungry from the ordeal of living without food and water for such long periods, a bored young man walked back into town.
He was dirtied and dishevelled, looking like he was on deaths door and he’d lost so much weight. His father was enraged when he saw him and decided to forfeit his son’s inheritance as punishment. At that time it was the local Bishop the father appealed to for help, not the courts.
During the heat of the midday sun, and in full sight of everyone, the young man renounced his fathers business, his inheritance and everything the world had to offer. After having done this, he stripped himself completely naked.
The Bishop went Scarlett red and ran to cover him with his cloak. The young man refused, and he walked out of the City gates completely naked. His name? St.Francesco di Assisi.
How We Can Benefit From Getting Naked
We can learn so much from the action of stripping naked in the presence of all. Not only did Francis renounce the wealth of his father and the uncharitable ways of the world; His stripping naked was symbolic of a person who’d eliminated the cares of what people think of him — liberated from the attachment belonging to the observation of the world. Can you only imagine what it feels like to no longer be at the mercy of what people think of you, to be slave to wealth and it’s tight grip?
Jesus Himself was stripped naked in front of the world and hung on a Cross. Perhaps when St.Francis looked upon this naked man on a Cross, he saw the ultimate rebellion and decided to imitate. We can imagine Francis saying, “Here is what it truly means to get crucified to the world and become a new person” as he meditated before the Crucifix.
We may not be like St.Francis and strip naked today in the literal sense, but we are required to strip ourselves naked in a spiritual way to the mockery of all. To walk around naked means, you’re vulnerable, abnormal and considered sick because who in their sane mind walks around naked? When you’re a Christian who walks around naked in the spiritual sense, scornful eyes are upon you.
Why? Because you no longer mentally dress and adorn yourself with the mind of the world. It’s fashionable to be uncharitable, seek self-gratification and power. It’s always favourable to gain the riches of notoriety with others than the poverty of being scorned. When the world sees you removing yourself from what is considered the “norm”, you’re considered that “crazy naked dude who lost his mind” as St.Francis was observed to be.
Therefore, there is a cost to stripping naked but also reward. We no longer give a monkeys what people say about us. Christ and his grace has liberated and renewed our minds. He has come with his Cross and stood between us and the world, revealing to us how fake it all is, how utterly meaningless looking for peoples approval is. True riches become discovered through stripping oneself naked of all the filth and being crucified to the world no longer at the mercy of other people.
Come on!!! Let’s get NAKED!!!