God Sightings and Burning Bushes


I was running late again.  The gray sky hung over the day like a blanket.  And the snow, the snow was in no hurry to fall to the ground.  I pressed the gas pedal and checked the clock again.  It looked like the cotton back in Arkansas, in the summer, when the wind made it dance in the air.  My breath was constricted.  My thoughts racing.  I turned on East Tower road, did some quick math and talked myself into accepting the fact that I was going to be at least ten minutes late to my appointment.  And there they were.

I had just told the story of the burning bush to the kids in chapel.  As I was reading the Exodus text verse 3:3-4 jumped off the page, “Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”  When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called out to him.

I had always thought a burning bush would lock anyone’s gaze.  But the text shows us that Moses deliberated and chose to look at the mystery before him. And because he chose, God spoke.

And now that I’m older, I get it.  I used to have more time for the mystery. But now I know how easily it is lost in the rush of life.  Moses could have easily ignored it.  Turned around, muttered to himself, “I’ve got all these sheep to pasture and I’m beyond the wilderness and far from home and the sun is setting and I’m starving and…”

I slowed the car down and turned to gaze at the sight. Twelve, maybe fifteen deer stood on top of the frozen water and along the banks of the stream.  A whole flock of deer. Families, babies and giant daddies perked their ears up and looked at me.  And the snow fell between us. And the wind blew.  And I was 15 minutes late to my meeting. And it was okay. In fact, it was wonderful.

There are many bushes along the roadsides of our lives aflame with sacred mystery. We need only to turn and look. Behold the beauty, the sorrow and the joy, the love and the pain, the whole marvelous mess of everything. Take it all in.  Then listen.


1 Comment

Filed under christianity, culture, epiphany, spirituality

One response to “God Sightings and Burning Bushes

  1. Beautiful story. It’s true. We need to make time for the “sacred mysteries” all around us before we look up and find our time is gone.

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