“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees, takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
So often we read a line and skip over it with abandon. Let’s linger here awhile. Earth’s crammed with heaven! Indeed, it is. All nature points to God. Do you recognize its beauty?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. (Psalm 19:1, NIV)
The next line, the common bush is on fire, brings to mind Moses and the burning bush. Note what he was really saying!
Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? (Mark 12:26, NIV)
Then we read -only he who sees, takes off his shoes!
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Numbers 3:5, NIV)
Friends, do you recognize the holiness of God?
And finally, the last line says the rest sit round and pluck blackberries. If we do not recognize God, even in nature and we don’t believe in the resurrection and we refuse the holiness of God, we are listless lay abouts.
You cannot pick blackberries while sitting around. They might fall on your head and dye your skin purple but on the ground, they are just poor squashed fruit.
Or perhaps God is referring to our worship of tablets, phones and other electrical gadgets.
It’s worth thinking about friends. Where are you in this poem?
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV)
Prayer- Lord, wake up our stumbling spirits into worship of you, creator God.