In the book of Genesis there was a burning bush. A voice from the Spirit. It echoed to Moses. It woke him up from his fugitive past. His complacent life. It called out:
Take your shoes off. You are standing on hallowed ground.
This was his big moment. This was the start of a freed generation. The thread that pulled along the cross-stitched pattern that ended oppression. Resistance. Slavery.
It happened on a day like any other. At least, that's how I see it. Moses had a regular job. A shady past. A broken childhood born from a generation of slaves. According to the Bible (and a certain DreamWorks production).
But what about those of us in this century? What is there for those of us who–unlike their claims to being Belle–don't have an animated movie that features our lives?
What about those of us who haven't heard that the ground we're standing on is meaningful. Those of us who know the earth is dusty, and who till the tired ground with our toes?
We're wondering where the miracles are. Where are the fires by night and the clouds by day to lead us?
One of the biggest complaints I hear about Christianity, and God–frankly, a complaint I've had myself sometimes–is that He seems absent. The ground in our lives is just ground. It's just something to stand on.
When we enter social arenas, when we throw parties or bump into people at the local shop, the question is always "what's new?"
What are you up to?
How's your relationship? Your x, y and z?
It's all remarkably the same as the last time we've talked, I tell them. I reply with "same old same old." Nothing new. Content at times. Scared at others. And incredibly, incredibly impatient for the first sign of a burning bush in my life.
Because it's all unhallowed ground, it seems.
I think about Moses. And how he must have felt before he knew his story would turn into an epic. I wonder if he was happy, or if he wrestled with his purpose, too.
I wonder if he was more awake to the miracles unfolding all around him. And I wonder the same for us. If we just haven't woken up to them.
I wonder if the miracles, the signs, the wonders God is giving us have been swallowed whole by our addiction to the mundane.
Because we can't see past it. We can't imagine a future without it. And we keep stamping around like there's nothing sacred there.
There must be.
One night about a month ago, I sat next to an artist at an event I was reporting on. I told him about a children's book character I've been working on but have no illustrator for. He promptly plucked the pen and paper from my hands and in 30 seconds flat, drew a picture of the character I told him about.
I held the drawing in my hands thinking how remarkable life is. How in a conversation, an idea can turn into a reality. Or hope. Or possibility.
And I wonder if God speaks to us in more creative ways than he did In The Beginning. I wonder if He's trying to reach us in different ways.
I wonder if we should wriggle out of our heels more often. Because our meaning, our purpose, our passion is as close as the dusty ground beneath us.
photo credit: Mikael Colville-Andersen via photopin cc
photo credit: Andre Bohrer via photopin cc