When the embryonic idea of this blog first came into being… several years ago… like everything back then I chatted about it with my dear husband.
During the discussion, he immediately said that I needed to explain the name. His first thought… and perhaps it was yours…. was that this may be a blog about walking around in the countryside with no shoes on! I’m afraid I will have to disappoint.
I have looked and there are other blogs that talk about that.
I like going for a walk on rare occasions. Unfortunately, I don’t do it often enough and set myself unrealistic goals of going walking with those who are extremely fit and who can walk miles over steep terrain without tiring, whilst I puff along at the back, gasping for air, reaching for my asthma inhaler and believing that I will die before the walk ends. However much I may enjoy or aspire to enjoy these excursions, the frequency of these events do not allow me to describe myself as a rambler.
I have, however, done a barefoot walk at a local country park. This has been designed for health purposes according to historic principles developed by Pastor Sebastian Kneipp. The walk was a strange experience sometimes chilly, other times painful. Navigating along a path that represented the area’s local industrial heritage: timber, bark, coal, pebbles, wood and clay. I got to the end along with my eldest son, invigorated that I had done it, having laughed myself silly as I slipped and slid around on the mud, screeched as I went through the ice cold pools of water and yelped as the sharp pebbles cut into my soles. There were parts of the walk that were comfortable and comforting in ways, whilst other parts were uncomfortable, unpleasant, and you tried to finish as quickly as you could.
Perhaps that barefoot walk is a good metaphor of life.
There are bits that are comfortable and leave us crying with laughter whilst other bits are so painful you long for it all to end.
And this brings me on to the reason for the blog’s name.
There’s a story in the first part of the Bible where God appears to Moses, a refugee from Egypt through a Burning Bush. This all sounds quite strange to us today, but it also seemed pretty bizarre to Moses. The bush was on fire but wasn’t burning up, the fire just kept on burning. During this meeting God tells Moses to take off his shoes, because the place where he is standing is Holy Ground, because God is there.
God is there
Whatever we are going through in life, God is there alongside us and so wherever we are we find ourselves on Holy Ground. I have found this to be so true over the past couple of years, since the tragic death of my husband.
My hope through this blog is that I will reflect on times when God is present in my day to day life, in the boring mundane housework, laundry, shopping, doing the school run life. I also believe that He is speaking to me through events all around me, if only I will stop and listen.
I also hope that this will encourage you to look for times when God is present and speaking to you too.
So that is why I have called it barefoot.
– a recognition that as we walk through life we do walk on Holy Ground, we walk in the presence of God, we load the dishwasher, change the beds, chat to others at the school gate, and chill with our families and friends on Holy Ground, with God stood there beside us.
– well I am known for rambling on at times…. but in the literary sense not the physical walking one!