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Burning Bush

Amy Oden

Exodus 4

Can it really be that simple? Pause, breathe, pay attention. That seems to be the sum of the spiritual life. Pay attention to what is right front of me, right now? What is just inside of me, hovering in my chest, right now?

Yes, this is what God will use to transform my life. To transform the world.

In Exodus 3, Moses pauses to pay attention and sees a bush burning with flame, Holy Presence right in front of him. In Exodus 4, when Moses feels inadequate to the task God sets out, God’s question is “What is in your hand?” It is the immediate stuff of our lives where God shows up and uses whatever we have now to call us, like the Israelites, like Ian and Barley in Onward, into more spacious freedom.

God is not waiting for me to first transform myself into a better version of me. God is not withholding some powerful blessing until some future time when I am worthy.

It is our lives, just the way we are, right now, that are the holy ground of the burning bush. If only we will stop and look, pay attention.

Today, what is in your hand? (Exodus 4:2)

I offer this poem from Mary Oliver as our prayer today:


It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak. --Mary Oliver, Thirst *


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