I’ve always hated showers. Give me a glistening white tub full of sudsy warm water, candles on the ledge, and a glass of red wine. That’s the way to be clean.
Showers are for the hurried, getting clean all in a rush of water hurtling down and straight into the drain–like getting caught in a downpour and giving up any hope of finding shelter before you’re soaked. Showers are for standing; you’ve got someplace else to go–and you’re going to be late!
Baths are for lingering, resting, enjoying. No agenda. No interruptions. Only peace. Warm, scented, slightly alcoholic peace. Taking a bath is my favorite form of centering prayer.
I’ve had some very profound moments, naked among the bubbles and salts and dripping faucet. Moments when God speaks, when my heart breaks, when I am listening. Moments of forgiveness, release, understanding, wonder. Moments of experiencing God’s tenderness, mercy, lovingkindness.
In these moments I feel like nothing separates me from God. I can lie back in the water until my ears are covered and my hair swishes like seaweed around my head and feel held, encompassed, hemmed in. I can stretch my legs one over the other, stick my big toe in the leaky faucet and examine myself exactly as God knit me together–my skin softened by the soap and salts and getting wrinkly from the long soak.
I can be fully myself in these moments, alone in the sanctuary of my white bathtub. In these private moments I share my most intimate, sacred self with the Creator. No cathedral, chapel, prayer garden, or monastery compares to the holiest of holies that is my tiled bathroom–with the steamed-up mirror, flower-shaped bathmat, and humming air vent that occasionally creaks when one of the screws comes loose.
That is my sacred space. That is where I am most spiritual–and most physical. That is where I experience God–in the bathtub.
This week I’m honored to host a beautiful moment in my dear friend Stacey Schwenker’s journey through experiencing her sexuality as a single person. She’ll be sharing her experience of getting naked before God tomorrow.
Until then, how do you get naked before God?