Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The desert's backside

They wiggle.
Dressing three children in winter-worthy attire takes about 20 minutes and really makes a mom long for spring.  Of course, at least one will be back inside within five minutes, having lost a mitten, or a boot, or having sneezed and needing a serious tissue.  I don't know how preschool workers stand it.
"Stand still!"  I ordered the last time, trying to zip Shiloh's coat.  "Mommy, I can't!" He replied.  What an impossible supposition when the great outdoors are calling!  Stop moving, just for a minute.  Do what must be done first.

Have you ever had one of those beautiful lucid moments when it seems, just for a long moment in eternity, you can see with the clear eyesight of heaven?  The tangible here and now stops clouding your view.  For a moment, you see things as they truly are.

God took Moses out of Egypt and spent eighty years of his life preparing him for such a moment at the backside of the desert.  Moses was busy thinking about good pasture for his flock, maybe the price of fleece among Midian merchants, maybe the last fight he'd had with his wife about washing the goat smell off before he came in for dinner.  Suddenly, God broke into his muddlings with a bright vision of clarity.  "Moses."  God spoke.
"Here I am." Moses responded.
"Take off your sandals, you are standing on holy ground."
Was this a path Moses had walked before?  Did the rocks or bushes look any different that day (Ok, other than the one that looked like it was burning)?  Did he look down at the dirt, look back up and say, "No, this can't be holy.  The sheep and I tromp through here all the time.  It gets muddy, and dusty, the animals leave things... This can't be holy.
No.  Clearly, that moment, it was holy, purified by the One who stood with him there.

I breezed into the kitchen last week on a mission, probably to the laundry room or the sink with a dirty washcloth.  Probably I had an entourage, asking for something.  Probably I had a school lesson on my mind, or I was pondering why the baby seemed so fussy that day.  Probably there was a Cheerio crunching under my feet.  Probably the phone was ringing.
I stopped in front of the woodstove.  Midstride.
The place on which I was standing was holy.
It was.  I knew it.  Clearly.
There, in my kitchen, stocking feet with holes in the heel, I stopped.
The Lord was hallowing my linoleum.
I realized I was in His presence.  Whoa.
No, I didn't see Him in the flames behind the woodstove window.  Sure, vivid; the knowledge hit me.  He was with me.  There in my little drafty kitchen.
He's always with me; He promised never to leave me or forsake me.  But I don't dwell on the thought of His presence often.  For a moment it was so joltingly clear and sweet.  I know my relationship with God is much more than the sum of my emotions and feelings.  But then, I am female; He made me capable of intense emotions, high and low.  He isn't absent when I am dulled by depression or busyness any more than He is dwelling more fully with me when I am excited or singing a hymn.  Wasn't it just nice of Him to remind me, there, then?
"I AM" here, with you, now.

Stop wiggling, He might be saying.  You may go back to your daily ablutions and responsibilities in a minute.  Be still and know Me.  Have a real moment in your day.            


  1. I love this and might refer to it in my own blog. Really, this is beautiful. What holy things your are doing! Really, truly, holy!