"Take Off Your Shoes"
Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2016
I am a pastors kid. Growing up we spent nearly as much time at church as we did at home, partially because in our family we were early, not a little early but really, really early. My dad’s policy was to get to church an hour before anyone else arrived. My sisters and I would find ways to kill the time as we waited. I spent hours reading the hymnal and studying the bulletin. We would play hide and seek in the Sunday School rooms and run through the halls. We would run through the parking lot and around the outside of the church. We even ran in the Fellowship Hall. But the one thing we knew to never, ever, ever do was to run in the Sanctuary. Not only did we never run, we didn’t raise our voice, walk along or sit on the alter and we didn’t climb over the pews. Although, for some strange reason it was acceptable to crawl under the pews on our belly like soldiers in training. We behaved differently because the Sanctuary by definition was a different place. It was a place set apart because that was where we met with God.
We don’t call them sanctuaries as much anymore. We call them worship centers, family life centers, and multi-purpose centers. That is fine because since Jesus died on the cross and the curtain was torn top to bottom, God no longer requires a special room to contain his Spirit. We are His dwelling place-his sanctuary and the whole earth is filled with his glory.
My whole life is where I intersect with God. There is not a part of me that is sectioned off to specifically be where I meet with him or a place where he doesn’t get to be. It’s all his. There is nowhere that I can go that he is not already there waiting for me (Psalm 139:7-10). So if I can’t see, hear or perceive him it is not because he is not there, it is because my eyes and heart are closed. His word is not too difficult for me (or you) to understand. No one else is required to bring meaning to his word in my life. It is on my lips and in my heart. (Deuteronomy 30:10-14)
I believe it may just take some practice to see, to hear, to understand, to recognize that I am surrounded by God’s movement everywhere and everyday in every part of my life I am surrounded by his good and perfect gift.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:
Earth is 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.
I know that I have become so busy “picking blackberries” that I am blind to our heaven crammed earth. So I have started practicing something. When I begin to feel overwhelmed I look for God in the situation that is overtaking me. When I am frustrated I search for something to be thankful for. I know that there is nowhere for me to run from his Spirit so if I open my eyes just a little more I begin to see that he is there. I practice taking my shoes off on this holy ground that is my life in Christ.
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