“Take off your sandals because the place where you are standing is Holy Ground.” Exodus 3:5
“Earth’s 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.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Aurora Leigh”
Many years ago, back in my Associate Pastor days at Berea Christian Church, I told some young elementary kids the story of Moses and the burning bush. One little boy, about 8 at the time, loved it. I mean, really loved it. He’d ask me to tell that story again and again. One day as we gathered for Sunday School, he blurted out that we really should be taking our shoes off for Sunday school because we were on holy ground. So we did. And we did it the next Sunday and the next until that ancient biblical story became a very real part of our story.
Not much later, when I had my daughter, I felt again like I was on holy ground. Oh, not that everything was so wonderful and peaceful and joyous but that it was simultaneously terrifying and confusing and sacred. So I resolved to go barefoot, at least spiritually. I resolved to pay attention to the wonders in everyday life, to notice the grace amidst the grind and hopefully to pass that on to her.
So that’s what a barefoot family is. It’s a little bit practical parenting ideas, a little bit faith formation ideas, a little bit spiritual meanderings with a healthy dose of belief that no matter how ordinary it all looks, God is there.