Why did God tell Moses to take his sandals off? Moses, probably smelling like goats and sweaty from walking up the side of a mountain, was probably pretty curious as to how a bush could stay on fire for so long. Then God talks to him from the flames. “Take your shoes off, the ground you’re standing on is holy.”
I can’t remember the cultural specifics about why taking his shoes off is more of a holy thing to do than to leave his shoes on. I don’t usually ask people to take their shoes off, especially when they’ve been sweating in them all day, because I’m not real interested in smelling the stench. But God tells him to take his sandals off of his sweaty feet and plant those calloused, smelly soles in the dirt.
Now Moses is standing there in front of this bush that is burning, isn’t spreading, and apparently isn’t burning up with sweat running down his legs, mixing with the dirt on the ground and this is holy. Moses smells like goats and unwashed man, has dirty feet, and this is holy.
Maybe when God said “Take your shoes off” He wanted Moses to be a little less clothed. Not in a weird, eww God has a foot fetish, but in a “Hey, I remember when Adam and Eve walked around naked and weren’t ashamed, and that was holy” type of way. Maybe God was inviting Moses to be known and to be unashamed.
I think I hear those words everyday. Take your shoes off, be vulnerable with me, this is holy.
Originally Posted March 25, 2010