Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem many years ago that speaks to what God is doing in my life right now – this is just a part of it.
“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.” -EBB
There are bushes on fire everywhere around us, and when you ask the Lord to open your eyes to these little bush fires, you wonder why you still have your shoes on. You wonder why you still have your shoes on, because the ground you are walking on is holy, because the presence of Jesus is near.
I’m walking through a place of wondering why I am still wearing shoes, asking myself, why have I not kicked them off yet? When I start to become aware that this ground that I am walking on, planting my roots in, carries the presence of my Abba Father within the dirt, within the bushes that are on fire. There are so many burning bushes in my life and I am just starting to see them in this way, the little moments where I see the hand of God in my life. These burning bushes have come through random affirmations from people who don’t know me and my story, apple cider soaked conversations and late night sobey’s runs. When I started thinking about these moments, these moments over breakfast dates every wednesday morning and the chats on my favourite bench in the school, these moments that leaves me in tears because of how far I’ve come, and the fact that there is life. The fact that I am able to declare victory over the low seasons in my life. These are burning bushes in my life, the pure, unrelenting love of God and his presence, showing up in my life, over and over and over again.
I’m taking off my shoes, because I’m walking on holy ground.
When I started to process these moments, these kairos moments that I was having, seeing the way that God kept giving me more glimpses into his heart for me, he showed me that I was standing in front of a bush that was on fire with him. I’ve put down my basket that was filled with blackberries, and I’ve slipped off my shoes, because I have become aware of how many bushes are actually on fire in my life.
I am standing on the other side of a heavy season, a lot of processing and tears and late night “I don’t knows” have come out of this season, but I am standing on the other side, declaring victory over it. I am declaring victory over that season, as I look back and see all the burning bushes that are still on fire, bushes that I walked past without acknowledging them – just the smell of something burning was all that I noticed because I was so preoccupied with other aspects of that season. The smell of something burning was enough to remind me that God was still near, but now I am becoming aware of the bushes that were on fire around me.
So many bushes, all of them on fire.
My prayer for you dear reader, is that you notice the bushes when you smell the smoke.
This blog post is a jumble of words that have come together to somewhat form my thoughts on what I am learning right now – so thank you for reading.