When I was a little girl my mom would cover our feet with bread bags before we put them into our moon boots. It was not unusual to see little legs with bread bags on them during the cold Michigan winter months. Being the oldest of five and living on one salary we were not privy to new boots every season. We got the hand me downs, now they are called “vintage” and our mom did whatever she could to make sure our little toes stayed dry and warm. To not feel the frigid winters on our feet.
We have 100 year old hardwood floors in the house I live in now. When people come in they automatically want to take off their shoes. We are very quick to tell them to keep them on. The floors are cold and with five children you never know what you may step on.
A few weeks ago at my second home, I mean my therapist’s office, he sat back and sighed deeply into his chair. He said,” I am not sure how much more you can carry. I don’t know many in my life that have endured so much suffering. And yet…. Still.”
And then last week as I was on my way to the woods to breathe the deep whisper of fall coming, and to have a couple days to soak in the goodness of other writers.
I read this passage.
“….when we are stuck or hurting and our gut instinct is to run out of there as fast as we can, we are probably close to holy ground. It is in the very midst of our pain, the places we hate and the seasons of life we dread, that God’s voice is most clear.” – Christina Gibson, Soul Barre
I feel like some of us, including my family, have been barefoot for a long time.
We want to grab those bread bags mom would keep in the bottom drawer of the kitchen and wrap our feet. Wrap the feet of our children and put our moon boots back on.
We ache for our savior every day.
We want him.
Are we willing then to live a barefoot life?
To see the pain and suffering as an invitation to enter holy ground.
The last thing from my mind this year has been the idea that what we are going through is holy.
I have had many other words for it. Holy has never been one of them.
I have seen God clearly pushing through the darkness. I have seen him in the kindred’s that sit late into the night on the porch until the fear goes away. I have seen him in the meals that have been placed on our door. I have seen him in the letters that speak nothing of knowing and everything of being. I have seen him in the song sent from states away that sings of justice. I have seen him in the goldfinches that continue to dance if I am quiet enough to watch. I have seen him in the prayers that have kept oxygen in our lungs. I have seen him in the plane tickets bought to teach us to walk again. I have seen him in countless and hundreds of ways.
I want to put the shoes back on.
I want to run.
He beckons me closer.
Into the pain.
To hear him say…..”take off your shoes, this, my beloved, is holy ground.”