God spake unto Moses, saying, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3.5)

Moses removing his shoes before burning bush (Exodus 3)

What are the shoes we are to remove when in search of holy ground?

Are they not our reason, our way of thinking, knowing what is right for us?

And our emotions, our way of feeling, sensing what is real for us?

And our histories and memories, our ways of perceiving our present truths?

And our hopes and dreams, our manners of longing for all not yet in accord with our designing?

And all these and more, beyond the ken of our highest imagining, truly, our deepest desiring?

Yea, so I believe.

For ‘til we, longing for the Presence of Holiness,
stand still and bare, e’en for an instant, in the purity of truest humility,
our uplifted hands o’erflowing with the emptiness of any claim of our righteousness,
we will not, cannot be clothed with sight of e’en a glimpse of God.(1)


(1) A reference to Matthew 5.8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.


4 thoughts on “Shoes

  1. Love this, Paul. I had never thought in terms of what our human shoes are made up of. Your thoughts and observations have given me something new to think about: how to get these too-small, too-tight, way-too-accommodated-to-style-rather-than-functionality shoes off my feet in order to stand on the holy ground of Love. And then I’ll have to deal with all the blisters, bunions, and corns that those darned shoes will no doubt have caused before I will be able to walk the path that Love points me to. But I think the time has come to take off those shoes, leave them behind, marvel at that burning bush for a while, and then be on my way down that path….

    Thank you, my friend. Another inspiration, another way to see, another way to be.

    Much love,



  2. Thank you Paul. As Karen said, this log is an inspiration. So I bring a different take to it. As I think I mentioned to you before, my mom is obsessed with her shoes. They are the one thing she doesn’t like to take off. She gets up in the middle of the night sometimes to put her shoes back one. Her shoes keep her stable and upright and I think she feels naked without them. On the times I’ve been able to take her to church, she was always worried about the shoes she had on, to make sure they were good enough to walk in the church to be with God. I wonder if her shoes are a control mechanism for her, that she doesn’t want to be without them …. maybe her way of saying she’s not ready to go see and be with God.

    Much love!


  3. Thank you, Karen and Loretta, for your wonderful reflections. In reading your comments, I am struck with amazement how very personal and individual are your reflections. I am grateful that I could write anything…anything at all that would prove fruitful in regard to stirring your imaginations…and how very different your “takes” are!

    Karen, I hadn’t thought of non-functional, foot-hurting-harming shoes and, thus, what it would mean to remove those shoes and to stand, bunions and all, to walk in a new direction on the holy ground of Love. Wonderful.

    Loretta, your reflection about your mother’s attachment to her shoes and that, possibly, shoes served/serve a control function for her is striking. Wonderful.

    As always, when someone responds, it calls me to rethink what I was thinking or intending when I first wrote. Indeed, at times what happens for me is that I discern something that was there, but under the surface, verily, unconscious to me as I dreamed and wrote. To wit: my view of the removal of shoes, being elemental aspects of our humankindness (reason, emotion, et. al) so to stand naked before God was/is rooted in my interpretation of the Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross – that is, the more we approach the presence of God, the more we are stripped (painfully) of all to which we would cling, fearing its loss and the loss of our selves, only to discover that in that loss/these losses we become more fully who God created us to be. I honestly can say I was not aware/conscious of this line of perceiving as I wrote. Your comments, again, throwing me back on myself, indeed, my self to rethink what I was doing have stirred this thought, bringing it to the surface. Thank you, thank you.


    Liked by 1 person

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