Going Barefoot


Going Barefoot (Exodus 1:1-2:10)

Take off your shoes. No, I really mean it. Right now. Stop what you’re doing. Put down your phone, turn away from your computer screen. Now, loosen your laces, step out of your shoes, and free your feet from wherever they are currently confined. Shoes off? Ok, now keep reading.

Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.

In 2010 Arthur Jones, a filmmaker from England, embarked on a year-long mission to live his life barefoot. Known as “Sole Man,” Jones spent the year traveling the world, walking through freezing snow in Norway and standing on hot pavement in Shanghai. He embodied these words from Exodus 3 in a way that most of us would not imagine possible.

Mr. Jones discovered that when you take your shoes off, everything changes. You become more aware of the world around you; you feel it in a different way. You feel every rock, every blade of grass, every surface. When you go barefoot, you are keenly in-tune with the ground beneath your feet.

“It opens your eyes,” he said. “You’re suddenly in touch with everything around. And it feels like you’re a little child discovering the world for the first time.”

Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.

These are the words that Moses hears as he stands before the burning bush. This is not the “let-my-people-go” Moses that we tend to think of [thanks to Charlton Heston and his classic 1956 film]. This is the “shepherd-in-hiding” Moses. He spends his day chasing sheep around the mountain Horeb.

We tend to think that Moses walked right up to the burning bush for his conversation with God. But take a closer look at this scene: Moses is out in the desert, a place filled with dry plants and the hot sun. I imagine that an occasional brush fire was not an oddity. But this time it is different; this time the bush is on fire but is not consumed.

Moses steps up to this bush, likely confused and a bit perplexed, and he hears a voice: “Take off your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.”

Maybe God wanted Moses to take his sandals off so he could experience the ground in a new way, a different way. That is what I think happened. Moses took his sandals off, and maybe for the first time, he experienced the holiness of that ground. He finally realized that he was home.

Breathe Peace,

Marty Signature BROWN

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