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Stand on holy ground

…Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware... 
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy, “it was kind of you to come.”
 “I have been here all the time,” said he.
      ~C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I sit passively in my car at the Parkway intersection, waiting on the red light to turn. But I am actively avoiding eye contact with the homeless man under the bridge.

Homeless gather here. They sleep here, eat here, and often solicit money here with “Will work for food” signs.

But I can’t avert my eyes for long. The homeless man is making a move. On the other side of the busy road, another homeless man is trying to come to him. In a wheelchair. (I dislike walking across any intersection—on healthy feet with even minimal traffic. But cross a major highway in a wheelchair? I can’t imagine.)

What I see next amazes me.

The man under the bridge runs to the wheelchaired-man, and pushes him back across the intersection himself, safe into their shelter. Why? I don’t know—maybe he was his friend?

Maybe the Spirit of God compelled him? Knowingly or not?

Whatever the reason, I breathe easier. To see the safe conclusion. To witness the kindness.

And to see God show up where I wasn’t expecting. When will I learn that he is everywhere?

May I learn to live barefooted.

Because everywhere I go, is everywhere he is. 
I’m always standing on holy ground

Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:5

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s quote inspired me last week. Then just this morning I read the C.S. Lewis words. What words have inspired you lately? Link up at Barbara’s.



Michelle DeRusha said...

This is so beautiful, Lisa -- and I love that Barrett Browning quote...I have used it more than once on my blog. And don't be so hard on yourself...I would not have approached the men under the bridge. My man on the corner was easier -- I was driving right by him and didn't even have to get out of my car. God made it easy for me!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
I just stumbled across your blog the other day. You have a wonderful blog filled with God inspiring information and encouragement! I loved your song Hanging On by Britt Nicole and I plan to order the book Anxious for Nothing. May I also learn to live barefooted everyday !Have a Blessed day !

Barbara H. said...

Both quotes are wonderful and I love how you wove them together. I would have been a little apprehensive and avoided eye contact in that situation as well, but how neat to see what happened!

nannykim said...

Yes, to be aware--aware of his presence.....I always think of the little book called, Practicing the presence of God. For takes practicing--reminding myself to be aware and to really live in the present-- in the day.

Lisa notes... said...

Okay, you made me feel better. :-) I’m linking to your homeless story here for others to read; it was so good:

"The Man on the Corner"

Welcome. We sound like kindred hearts. I pray you will be blessed by reading "Anxious for Nothing." John Macarthur really filled the book with lots of applicable Bible texts and godly logic.

Lisa notes... said...

I love when I get the same message from several sources. After I posted this today, I read a section in Mark Batterson’s "Wild Goose Chase" about Moses’s encounter with God at the burning bush. Nothing like repetition to get my attention.

“The Practice of the Presence of God” is actually one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve read it several times and I continue to glean something new out of it each time. And I’m noticing it’s only $1.99 for the Kindle today. Hmm…

It definitely takes practice for me, too. I did an on-line study of this book with a group a few years back, and it was so interesting and encouraging to discover how other people “practice His presence.”


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