I have spent most of my adult life with the lesson of stripping tightly nestled under the arm of my studious mystical self, toting it around with me, to be pulled out and clucked over when some circumstance jostled it back into my consciousness.
This is to say, it’s been with me a long, long time.
To study the lesson of stripping all one has to do is read the book of Job. It seemed simple enough when I was younger, but as I aged, as I suffer stripping again and again, I ached for the depth that this lesson must bring.
It is easy enough to watch this lesson of stripping be acted out and taught by Jesus. He was, after all, born homeless. He died a homeless man. And he tried to pound this concept into the heads of those around him: no, do not go bury your dead; not only hate your mother and father, but hate your own life if you want to follow me; there is nothing that you need to be saved but your own faith.
And Job was most certainly a man of faith.
But why is stripping a necessary process in our walk toward God?
Everything that we hold in our hands is a distraction. Each thing we attach ourselves to draws our attention. And there are times that God wants our undivided focus on him.
As we are stripped of those things that we value we become an empty vessel. And in this emptiness we find our ability to sense the vibrations that God is pouring into our souls. Like those bowls that hum when stroked.
Being at empty is the time we use our souls as the means for being in direct contact with God. And this is when personal transformation takes place.
We empty ourselves entirely and turn toward God. We have nothing but our faith and love to offer him. It is he who fills the bowl that is our soul. And, as a result, we come away a different person, to meet the world afresh.
Being stripped brings us to the most mystical point of the universe. It brings us to nothing.
My lesson of nothing is this: out of nothing comes everything.
It is easy to think of a child being born: from nothing to a joining of two cells, to a person. When we are completely empty before God, we, then, become the joining of two cells, and, then, through us, God creates.
And it is only through God that we can come to the point of nothing. When we turn away from God, we commit ourselves to staying focused on our day-to-day life. And from that life, without God, we will have no escape.
I truly do not understand why people do this to themselves.