Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit around and
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Picking blackberries. What is wrong with picking blackberries? Nothing. But there is so much more to life than just that. God made the blackberries as well as so many other things. We can sit around and enjoy the things God made or, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning is pointing out, we can see God.
You cannot see God around you unless you are looking. One person who sees God in the world around her is Beneth Peters Jones. If you have listened to Sunshine on the Soapsuds, you have heard her tell about how she has seen God in her daily life. I have often admired her ability to see God even in soapsuds. Mrs. Browning’s poem tells us how we can do the same. We have to take off our shoes.
When Moses was in the wilderness caring for sheep, God spoke to him from a burning bush. He told Moses to take off his shoes for the ground on which he stood was holy ground. For us to see God we need to recognize the holiness of God and submit to Him.
The focus of our lives needs to be more than doing things, even doing things for God. The focus of our lives need to be knowing and seeing God. There is great beauty and joy in seeing God.
So take off your shoes and acknowledge His holiness.
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds me.