“What shall we do together Jesus?” I asked.
He smiled, “Let’s go running barefoot!”
Surprised, because normally I run in my jogging shoes, my heart leaped, “Yes!”
That sense of surprise, along with the calm authority of the words and the delight I felt in my heart, suggested that it likely was the still, small voice of the Lord and not just my own thoughts. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
So I took off my shoes and ran barefoot with Jesus in the huge field behind my house.
Why I Love Running Barefoot
Running barefoot in the grass is awesome! Especially when you’re running with Jesus! (Be sure to run light on your feet. Or you can walk barefoot.)
I carry one of my “Electric Scriptures” to warm my heart to the Lord and help me pray.
Running barefoot, I feel the ground — it holds me soft and firm.
I feel the blades of grass tickle my toes. (Or the sand if I’m on the beach.)
I feel the movements of my body, my breathing, and the beating of my heart.
I feel like a child — young, playful, and free!
Feeling God’s Presence
When I was a boy I repressed my emotions. Ever since my first psychology class in college I’ve been re-learning how to feel and express my emotions.
Everyday I talk with Kristi or a safe soul friend about how I feel. And I ask how they feel.
This means feeling things we don’t want to feel: hurt and sad, anxious, unsure, frustrated and angry, embarrassed.
But it also means we get to feel great blessings: thankfulness, relational connection, warm love and affection, deep happiness, peace and contentment.
You can’t get the positive emotions without the negative emotions — they come through the same feeler. The only choice is to be sensitive or calloused.
On Holy Ground
When Moses was tending sheep the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush and said, “Take off your shoes, you’re on holy ground.”
Taking off your shoes is a custom that’s still practiced in many homes and houses of worship, especially in Eastern or Scandinavian cultures. It’s a sign of humility and respect. You’re leaving the dirt and germs of the street outside.
Really, it’s about hospitality. You’re relaxing and settling in, planning to stay awhile and converse with your friend.
The Lord says his name is “I AM. I am the Source of all life. I am with with you and I care for you.”
He empathizes with the pain of Moses and his people. He promises to lead them into a land flowing with milk and honey. (Exodus 3:1-14)
Barefoot before his holy Lord, Moses feels his emotions and God’s loving presence.
“All earth is crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees take off his shoes.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Yes, Lord, we hear your voice and take off our shoes to come close. To converse. To feel. To enjoy you as our God and our Friend. Through Jesus’ name. Amen.