Tumbling in the Sand
Text for this reflection (second in an Advent series called “Revive”): Exodus 3:1-12
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
What does it take to see the presence of God in the common bush?
You see, I think that that revelation is the beginning of freedom … to discover that God is in fact
not in places that we think of as special or holy
but in the every day
in every thing.
And not in a general kind of, yeah, God is everywhere sort of thing but a God is right there and right there sort of thing…
I think that revelation is the beginning of freedom because that is when we learn
that not only is God found in the common bush
but even in the dust of the ground (and not some abstract ground, but the very ground your feet are touching right now)
And then, if God is right there, then God is even in each of us.
And then, if that is so … then we might come to believe that
God can not only set an uninteresting bush afire with glory
but that God can use less than credible characters to change the world.
Less than credible characters like us.
We need only take off our shoes
And feel the dirt between our feet
And sense that the ground itself is holy.
But, how do we do that? And how do we know that God really is setting us each ablaze?
How in the world could we believe something as crazy as a God—a perfect, holy God—
would use us?
I mean, after all … I’m …
And what are the voices that fill your head? What voices sound like Moses’ “But, who am I to …” ?
I just have a high school diploma.
I’m getting too old for this.
I’m scared of speaking in public.
I’ve never been particularly good at stuff …
I’m not good at talking about faith.
I’m not healthy enough
I’m too broken …
Or whatever your voices are, filling your head, blinding you to the burning glory of God
calling you to go or speak or come
Trapping you …
So pause for a moment with those voices. Those voices of reason, of limit, of restriction.
And look — the bushes … even hung with Christmas lights … are afire with God.
God’s full divinity becomes dust and was born human.
Indeed, the earth itself has been kissed by God
And by it’s holiness, you are called to let go and be free.