A reflection from William Bryant Logan.
Recently I have been reading Exodus,
wondering about Moses and the burning bush.
Moses, it is written, “turns aside to see a wonder,”
a bush that burns but is not consumed.
Throughout my life, I had thought this a ridiculous passage.
Why should God get Moses’ attention by such outlandish means?
I mean, why couldn’t He just have boomed, “Hey, Moses!”
the way He would later call to the great king, “Hey, Samuel!”
Now I know why.
The truth, when really perceived and not simply described,
is always a wonder.
Moses does not see a Technicolor fantasy.
He sees the bush as it really is.
He sees the bush as all bushes actually are …
All that is living burns.
This is the fundamental fact of nature.
And Moses saw it with his two eyes, directly.
That glimpse of the real world — of the world as it is known to God —
is not a world of isolate things, but of processes in concert.
God tells Moses, “Take off your shoes, because the ground where you are standing is holy ground.”
He is asking Moses to experience in his own body what the burning bush experiences:
a living connection between heaven and earth,
the life that stretches out like taffy between our father the sun and our mother the earth.
If you do not believe this, take off your shoes and stand in the grass or in the sand or in the dirt.
The words of William Bryant Logan.