What’s with the naked people?

I promise, I don’t seek out naked people.

They just seem to follow me around.

Let me explain. When Brian and I went on our honeymoon to St. Maarten, we inadvertently stumbled onto a nude beach for senior citizens. At first, we were confused. Is that a skin colored bathing suit? Or is that… oh my…. oh goodness!

Awkward.

We quickly came to the same conclusion: Some wrinkles should not be made available to the viewing public.

On this last trip to the Caribbean, we were far more prepared. We researched the area, checked out the hotel. All looked good. So after a week with my side of the family, we took a taxi to a remote getaway on the other side of the island. We were planning to celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary.

On our way over, the taxi guy caught our eyes in the rear view mirror. In a thick Caribbean accent, he asked, “So are ya goin’ to check out the Bomba Shack?”

“The Bomba Shack?”

“Ya, it’s just down the street from your hotel. You sip on da mushroom tea and fly as high as a kite.” He laughed, “Many a young lady has lost her bra and panties after just a few sips.”

I looked at Brian. Brian looked at me.

I wrapped my arms around my all important clothing items.

“I’ll be avoidin’ the mushroom tea then.” I said in my best Caribbean accent.

My husband nodded firmly.

The taxi man laughed.

Our second day in, we took a walk around the neighborhood. We came across the  Bomba Shack, thankfully during daylight hours. It was less than a shack, really. Just a deck with an occasional piling and teetering lumber holding up half a roof. It had advertisements for their full moon party to take place that very night. Various makes and models and sizes of panties adorned what remained of the walls.

A little later in the day, two of our elderly neighbors at the hotel had a wee bit too much rum. They were in the water, frolicking away. Brian and I were about to go outside and sit by the water when I noticed something floating beside the two women.

Really?

It was a bathing suit.

Now, I have nothing against naked.  I’m a firm believer in enjoying a good naked in the right marital circumstance.

What doesn’t sound good is the rum-induced, stumbling, toss-your-bathing-suit kind of naked. Or the drink mushroom tea, use-panties-to-decorate-a-plank kind of naked.

The sad thing is that the elderly skinny-dipping women from our hotel, friends on a vacation together, couldn’t look us in the eye the next day. They were more than a little embarrassed by their revealing game of Marco Polo.

And I can’t imagine that the ladies who plastered their panties in the Bomba Shack put that venture very high on their lifetime list of accomplishments either.

Maybe I’m a stick in the mud, an old fashioned girl without a clue. Or maybe I’m just a woman who has walked through some broken places too, a woman who has some regrets of her own. Oh, not that my panties are hanging around any Caribbean shacks – but there are certainly times in my life when I was ashamed to look people in the eye the next day.

No holier than thou here…

This kind of thing has been on my brain a lot lately. I recently finished a purity book and I’ve been getting more and more of a feel for God’s heart on the whole topic. How He loves, protects and longs for us to be free of shame. How places like the Bomba Shack may bring laughs for the moment, but usually bring that gut feeling of “yuck” in the morning. How God wants to protect us from that. How He loves and honors our bodies and hates for us to wear shame as our clothing of choice.

It’s not about uptight rules and clasped hands of holiness. It’s about fierce love, a love that longs to protect us from that kind of pain and embarrassment.

So here I am, back home after our adventure. And thanks to God’s love and goodness, I returned with my panties intact, a happy hubby and a clean conscience.

Now that’s a good time.

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12 Responses to What’s with the naked people?

  1. Samantha Lynch says:

    And how glad I am to have a mama with her panties in tact! I wove you. ❤ You're the best mama EVER.

  2. Shannon says:

    Thanks for saying what needed to be said. Right on target as always. So many of us have never known that “fierce love” from a man. It can take a while to get the hang of that kind of love coming from God.

  3. Susan Mathis says:

    Haha! Too cute, Elsa!

  4. Wendy Koke says:

    Oh Elsa! You have got it, Girl! I love you so much! Thanks for being able to have a sense of humor AND just plain ‘ole sense! You are awesome! I could read your writing ALL day long! Keep it coming!! What a gift God has given you to share with the rest of us!! He speaks through you!!

  5. So glad you had a good time and came home with everything that you wanted to! Never been to da Carribean.

  6. John Mitchell says:

    You go girl!
    And happy 5th Anniversary. 🙂

  7. Terri Laurent says:

    I love it Elsa! You have such a fun way of sharing such deep thoughts! Keep it coming!
    Terri

  8. Brenda says:

    Amen to that! Happy 5th! Your messages are always so spot on! and written with God’s loving hand in yours….You are truly blessed! Keep the great stories coming…that’s for being so real and down to earth…

  9. Andrea says:

    Oh Elsa how I love to read your stories. You always make me smile.
    Love you!

  10. Dennis says:

    Wish you and Brian many more Happy Anniversaries!!!

  11. Dennis Blank says:

    Wishing you and Brian many more Happy Anniversaries!

  12. Cheryl Aslakson says:

    A much needed story. I will be saving it for my granddaughter who is entering her teen years. Thank you for sharing something so real & in such a non-judgemental way.

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