As you may know, I’ve been helping out with my new grand baby for a couple of weeks. Here in South Korea, it’s written right into the housing contracts that you must
remove your shoes before entering the house, and at Mike and Grace’s home, there is a foyer just for this purpose! Every time I take off my shoes, I’m reminded of God speaking to Moses in the burning bush: “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5).
Although I don’t think of it as often, that command is repeated in Joshua 5:15: “And the commander of the Lord
‘s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” Do you take off your shoes before entering your home? We do.
My friend, Rita S.— who was helping her son and daughter-in-law with their fourth new baby just exactly one month before I came to help my son and daughter-in-law with their fourth new baby—shared this picture of her grand kids, who not only took off their own shoes at the door, but carefully removed the doll’s shoes too! Isn’t that precious? Talk about showing respect!
What occurs to me as I take off my shoes is that our homes are (hopefully) “holy” also, just like the ground upon which Moses and Joshua stood, at least in the sense of being consecrated to God. I want my home to be a place of peace and refuge, where the dust and dirt from the streets is left behind and all who enter can feel clean and safe…enjoying a sense of sanctuary and God’s presence.
God also wants our very lives to be consecrated, “holy ground.” We can’t always prescribe what lies ahead or behind us, but we are totally responsible for what lies within us! Are we filling our lives with that which is pure and protecting ourselves from evil? Is our heart God’s home? Are we tending the garden of our souls by pulling out weeds of bitterness and poisonous thinking? Are the fruits of the Spirit flourishing in us? When I catch myself dwelling on negative thoughts, I try to remember to go back to the front door of my mind and take those dirty shoes right off! May the interior of our minds be filled with praise and peace.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
(This picture is of the chalkboard in Mike and Grace’s kitchen right now. Also, the quote from Emerson is from a card belonging to my friend Jane A, and the thought on pregnancy is from my niece, Andrea P. [who’s also expecting a baby]. Thanks, dear friends, for all the things you share that enrich my life so much!)