Every common bush afire with God
Earth’s crammed with heaven
And every common bush afire with God
But only he who sees takes off his shoes –
The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The poem and the picture remind us that in all our normal – and, sadly, “new normal’ circumstances – we may still be surprised by the sudden recognition of God’s presence – if we keep our eyes open! In the poem some enjoy the blackberries they pick from the bush – but others see further and perceive the richness and the fullness of God in all he made.
The Book of Exodus (3: 1 – 6) tells too how God revealed his presence and power to Moses in the burning bush – how Moses took off his sandals in recognition of God’s holiness – his goodness and mystery. This encounter on what had been just a normal day strengthened and empowered Moses for all the changes that were to come – as he went on to become the great leader of God’s people who would set them free from slavery in Egypt.
Of course the gorse bush in the picture just looks as though it’s burning – but how vivid and eye-catching it is! Let’s pray to be open to all the glimpses of God that surround us in all our ordinary days.
Be still for the presence of the Lord
the Holy One is here . . .