Really, it all started for the sake of comfort. Around the time when worship started to move me. I mean, literally move me. I used to be content standing still when I sang to God, but I find that almost impossible now. Also, though I know it's not necessary, I tend to dress up for church on Sunday mornings, and that occasionally means wearing heels. Heels are not comfortable at the best of times--and neither standing nor swaying to music would I consider to be the best of times. So one day, I simply slipped my shoes off before we stood to sing. In fact, I kept them off the entire service, including when I went down the aisle to the altar to pray.
I'm not sure how many times I did this before the thought occurred to me. And by "the thought occurred to me", I mean that God reached His hand down and waved it in front of my face, probably saying something along the lines of, "Hellooooo? Yeah, it's Me. God. Pay attention. I have something beautiful to tell you." The thought He gave me was of Moses, and his encounter with a certain fiery bush, and a certain God who spoke these words from inside it: "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground," (Exodus 3:5).
Not gonna lie. I thought it was pretty cool, knowing I had a bare-footed buddy right there in the Bible. And I felt that wonderful and terrifying shiver of awe when God whispered to me, in the midst of the music and the noise: The place where you are standing is holy ground.
And it's true, isn't it? As a people made holy by the Spirit living in us, every step we tread is made upon holy ground. This is not to say that I walk around barefoot everywhere, because I don't. But every time I do slip my shoes off before coming into His Presence in worship, it reminds me of that holiness. It reminds me of how big He is, how beautiful. It makes me forget to breathe for a second. The God who molded the universe in His hands is here. Maybe we can't comprehend it, but I think we should try more often. Because I believe, if we got just a tiny glimpse of that flame, our world would never be the same.