When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:4-5, NRSV)
I suspect I am not alone when I say that I crave a sense of connection with God – there is a longing for deeper belonging, a search for meaning, a need for awe and wonder in my life. I want to wake up every day looking for the holy ground all around me. Moses was certainly not looking for an encounter with God when he set out on his daily activities tending sheep in the desert. Yet, he was surprised by the divine in the ordinary. And perhaps, today more than usual, I am caught up in wonder because yesterday our second grandchild came into this world. The day before I was immersed in the tasks of my day — head-down, not looking up or around, feeling stuck in the mundane – certainly not looking for joy to surprise me. And then, suddenly, a new life was born to us– filling me with a sense of wonder at the beauty of life.
We just began reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, An Altar in the World for our Clergy Round Table. In it, she commented that while we long for the sacred in our lives, the last place most of us look is right under our feet, in the ordinary events that happen in sacred moments of time. What makes them sacred? I have discovered that my sacred moments come with an element of surprise, a new insight, a fresh opportunity, an unexpected encounter with another, a fresh discovery. I simply need the eyes to see that exactly where I am standing is holy ground. I was reminded of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s words:
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.
I have a sneaking suspicion that God is smiling when we recognize the holy ground all around us – for God has made this world for delight.
Rev. Dr. Deb Kaiser-Cross
Minister for Congregational Care
Practice for This Week
What would it look like to enter each day looking for wonder and delight? How can you increase wonder in your life today?
For all who are laboring and worn down from the burdens of life that they might find a sacred moment of wonder.
O God of this new day, who watches over us with endless care, thank you for this journey of life and all the wonders that lie before us. Gift us with the ability to live each day with expectancy, eager for the mysteries you will unwrap for us, grateful for the richness of life’s tapestry. Day by day, we proclaim in quiet praise – great is your faithfulness, Lord unto us. Amen.