Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Remembering A Day At The Beach -- Clothing Optional?

OK, I'm ready for a break from these discussions on theology, politics, peace and whether or not to pray for our enemy Osama.

"I want to go see the beach," my brother told me.

"But it is freezing," I told him. And it was. It hardly ever gets cold in Miami, but it was in the middle of January and I didn't remember a colder day. My wife and I were bundled in coats we'd had in storage since moving from South Carolina. My brother, visiting us from Detroit, was wearing a light-weight windbreaker and was mocking us as we shivered.

So off to the beach we went.

"Let's take him to Haulover," my wife suggested.

Haulover? The beach where people get an all-over. Yep, Haulover is the clothing optional beach in Miami.

Thank the Lord for small favors! As we had expected, the beach was deserted. After all, it was a freezing 45 degree day in Miami.

My wife graciously turned her back on us while my brother and I ripped our clothes off and stood with our backs to her and the camera. Brother is giving me a thumbs up sign as I am pointing to the sign, "beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers."

As soon as my wife took the photograph, she politely turned around and Brother and I scrambled back into our clothes.

I don't know about Brother, but I could have done without my wife's comment, "I bet that gives new meaning to the phrase, 'all men are created equal'."

Hey! It was cold. Hasn't she ever seen Seinfeld?

I live in Miami, which is a very diverse part of the world. I love that about Miami. Some Sundays, my church is more white than black, and the next week it will be more black than white. There are over 30 nationalities represented in the congregation.

We are all so different, and I love living in that kind of community.

If you live in a diverse community one of two things will happen to you. You either get fed up with it and move to a community where there are folks more like you. Or you settle in and learn to be at peace surrounded by people who are nothing like you.

I took the second choice.

Nude beaches? Not for me. We had fun with the picture we took -- especially when we emailed it to Brother's wife and kids. But by and large, on a clothing optional beach, I'll opt for some clothing.

But it's OK with me if others want to go to the beach and enjoy the sun au naturale. I've never thought that nudity was much an issue with God. He's the one who made us this way, and it was Adam and Eve who figured out the clothing thing.

Or, if you want a minimum amount of clothing, head for South Beach. Many of the women go "top free" on the beach, wearing nothing but a bit of dental floss. Actually, there is not much about a nude beach that is erotic -- but watch a woman wear a piece of cloth the size of an eyepatch and nothing else, and that will get your blood pumping! Oh, the sin of lust in one's heart!

Or for more traditional dress codes, there's Hollywood Beach to the north -- nicer boardwalk anyway. That's where you'll find me and my wife.

If I want Hollywood Beach, fine. You want Haulover or South Beach, fine.

I get the feeling when I read some blogs and their comments that people become angry at the world because the world has not become like them. The world is different, and that really pisses them off.

That's sad.

First, there will always be others who are different -- so why get all worked up about it. We're never going to agree on all things, so relax! I share my views, and you either accept them or not. You share your views, and I also either buy into them or not. Let's not get so bent out of shape with our differences.

Second, I think the world is a richer place when we can celebrate a little diversity. It may be the Star Trek fan in me. Remember, when Star Trek first aired the only non-white was Bill Cosby on I Spy -- and as I recall that was not aired in Atlanta. Star Trek appeared and suddenly viewers could see an international, multicultural community. I remember thinking, "I like that."

Well, I was going to go for a change of pace and get off of the political stuff. Hmmm, not so sure I did that...

Anyway, if any of you go to Haulover, do me a favor. There was no one there that day, so I couldn't do what I really wanted to do, which is to walk up to some naked person and say, "Excuse me, but isn't the nude beach two miles in that direction?"


Blogger St. Casserole said...

I was looking at PCUSA references at Technorati and found "Flame and Glory" blog where you are described as an member of the ultra-liberal PCUSA. Your comment on his blog is reasonable and useful.
He says that he is a member of the most conservative church in the world.
Love it!
Blessings to you, Brother.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Thanks for your comment on my site. I'm glad you enjoyed the Niger article.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous steph said...

Absolutely - we are all different, different beliefs,ideas, colours, genders ... isn't it exciting? How boring the world would be if we were all the same. Nothing to talk about, no imagination... Diversity is really something to celebrate, not get angry about.

As for nudity - what a great name for the beach! - yip, nothing freer ... but beaches, sun on bare skin - not any more! Skin cancer! Nothing nicer than swimming naked but just watch that sun on the beach.

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jude Caught in the Nude
The actor was snapped in the buff by a lurking paparazzo as he changed into a swimsuit outside his mother's home in France.
Who else wants to learn the secrets to creating a massive cash flow...for free?

[Stephanie L. Woolford]

12:09 AM  
Blogger jbb said...

nice to see a pastor with a sence of humor. and willing to go to a nude beach. my pastor just went to a cold play concert with his kids. not exactally the same but im sure it had its similarities.


12:23 AM  
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