Friday, April 17, 2015

when you get your burning bush

I asked God for a sign. And I told you about it. And you said things like yes and tears and me too.

I was thrilled that we want signs, all of us. I was comforted we aren't getting them. I was thankful I'm not the only one He seems to have forgotten. I prayed a prayer of thanks for lots of hungry souls, knowing that He could feed us just like He did the 5000 so long ago.

We want to know what we're doing is right and good and changing the world, if even in just tiny ways. We can tell each other that we're doing the right thing, pursuing relentlessly and the like, but we can't see it in our own lives. We say any sign will do, but how lovely would a burning bush be? Then we speak about burning bushes and decide we're worthy of it and prepared to see a bush not consumed by flame.

But what if we get the burning bush we want? 

Do we ignore it? Do we turn a blind eye and pretend it was just a random spark? Do we act like God just threw a still-lit cigarette out His window and it landed on our dry soul? Are we truly prepared for the message it might hold? Can we see something burning and not consumed without losing our cool?

I know I'd panic. I know that's not the right response, but I'd panic and forget I ever asked for a sign in the first place. Because burning bushes never make logical sense and so I explain them away. Cigarettes or fireworks or conspiracy. Who cares what it means when the burning bush is without explanation.

If I can ignore it, I don't have to change course.

What if the burning bush is inside of us? 
We pretend there isn't a burning bush though we feel the flames. Sure we can't see it, we can't smell it, but we we feel the flames. We feel them not on our hands, but in our hearts. We know they are there burning and hungry, but the kindling is not consumed.

What if the sign we asked for is an unquenchable passion in our souls? What if our soul continues to ruminate on the words we've dedicated our beings to ignoring? Is that our bush on fire? Yes. In ignorance, we can walk wildly through the brush without regard for a grander purpose. But it will continue to burn, begging for our attention.

I was writing a letter the other day. I was writing to a friend and I scrawled I am purposely ignoring Him because I'm afraid of what He's going to say. I wrote it to tell her we're all afraid. I wrote it hoping she'd write back and say she knows I'm listening to Him. I wanted her to say the ignoring feeling is just fear working deep in my heart and isn't really my fault or choice at all. But, I didn't need her to say that because He did.

The bush on fire is true regardless of my choice.
I'm ignoring Him and the burning bush He started in my heart. I'm afraid of where that bush might send me, who it will tell me has needs, what ways I will surely fall flawed and short, so I plug my ears and close my eyes and chant something about how "you can't see me." Because, if I say it, it is so.

So now what? 
It seems time to quit pretending the fire is going to burn itself out.


  1. "Listening" has always been a challenge concept for me when it comes to my faith. If often wonder if that is at my own fault. I can definitely relate to you.

  2. Listening is a struggle. Always. ALWAYS a struggle.


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