More than Picking Blackberries

by Diego Sanchez

“Earth's crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of my biggest fears is that I would be a person who plucks the blackberries. Instead, I pray that I am a person who sees the glory of God in every moment. However, I am human. As a product of this American life, trained by the culture of hurry, I can readily forget that the rhythm of rest practiced in other cultures around the world is simply better. When I first learned that European shops close down midday for multiple hours for lunch, my mouth dropped, appalled. Now, however, I wish we lived in a place that appreciated the art of slowing down and seeing that every common bush is afire with the glory of God.

So, how do we see God in the unexpected? Simple, slow down enough to see.

When I think of seeing God in the unexpected, the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) comes to mind.

Let’s paint the scene:

A whole village is gathered to celebrate a wedding, most likely hundreds of people.

They run out of wine, which is guaranteed embarrassment for the family hosting the wedding.

In a hurry to help fix this situation, Jesus’ mother approaches him about it. She knows her son can help.

Jesus’ first response is an interesting one. He references time.

My hour has not yet come. (v.4)

Jesus was present for this moment in time. He knew this was a time meant for joy and celebration.

Spoiler alert: Jesus takes the water that the Jews used to PURIFY themselves for sins, and turns it into a whole lot of GOOD wine.

God is not in a hurry and this is an example of Him being present with His people. Jesus knew His purpose and the timing of its fulfillment, yet was fully present in the lives of those around Him.

  • Are you fully present in the moments of your day?

  • Are you expecting the glory of God in every moment?

Slow down. Take off your shoes. The glory of God is all around you.