.: I heard God say… :.
Every Monday morning, the G42 staff and all of us interns gather at 8:00AM to have corporate prayer. Last Monday, as we were wrapping up, one of the interns Britt got up and said: “I just heard God say: “We need to take off our grave clothes.” And she just proceeded to pray that over all of us.
.: What does it mean? :.
We started class 30 minutes later and it is exactly the question that our teacher that week asked us. “Take off your grave clothes. What do you think it mean?’ he said.
.: My answer :.
For those who don’t know me, I grew up in Haiti. My childhood best friend’s father runs a successful funeral home business. Growing up, I spent quite some time in their morgue. Like most kids, I was afraid of dead bodies. It took me forever to even get comfortable walking into the room where they had all the empty caskets the customers could choose from. I can remember like yesterday the very first time I saw a dead body. I was standing outside when the company’s car pulled over in front of the building. The staff got out and made his way to the back of the car. He opened the door and I watched him pull out a stretcher with a body on it, covered with a thick white sheet. I wanted to run inside but my legs would not let me. I was so petrified that I completely froze. To my horror, I watched him roll the gurney to the back of the building. I don’t recall how old I was but it was one of the scariest things for my young self to experience. Especially since I never made my way to the back room because I knew it was where they kept all the bodies. However, I digress….
My point was because of them, over the years, I got some insights into the preparation of a dead body for a funeral service. A couple of days or so before the service, family members would stop by to drop off the beautiful dress or the sharp looking suit they want their loved one to wear. After the embalmment process, it was the staff’s responsibility to dress the body with the provided outfit. The staff would also have to do the dead body’s make-up as well. The goal is to make the body looks the same as it did when the person was alive. It was imperative to do so because most of the time, families would opt for an open casket ceremony.
Back to class now. When God spoke to Britt and asked us to take off our grave clothes, to me it meant that I need to take off the fancy outfit and wipe off the makeup that I think makes me look alive. When in reality, they do not. I am very much still dead and headed to the cemetery to be buried in them. My fancy outfit include any and every top (ex: pride), pant (ex: false humility), skirt (ex: lust), dress (ex: false identity), jeans (ex: bad habits), jewelry (ex: job, ministry), sunglasses (ex: fear) that don’t align with what and who He says I am and calls me to be. As much I think that I look the cutest in them in them, the reality is, I am getting all dressed up for my grave. Sometimes, these clothes/make up were given to me by friends, family and the world. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that they do have the nicest intention in mind because they love me and want me to look my best. However, I need to make sure that I have on God’s best.
Thus, I want to challenge you and me to take a minute and look at what we’re wearing. Let’s make sure that we’re not dressed in your grave clothes. If we are, let’s choose to take them off and ask God: “Abba, what should we wear today instead?”
“Take off the grave clothes and let him go!”
– John 11: 44
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