Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | December 7, 2022


(3 Minute Read. 7Dec2022)

Who said this?

“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 it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.”

Did you guess that these insightful and elegant words come from blank verse poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861)? Her epic poem Aurora Leigh expresses a deep truth that is overlooked by many. Take a moment to again read those five profound lines above.

Earth truly is crammed with the blessings of heaven. Every plant, every animal, every human being testifies of the glory of the Great Creator. Are you someone who sees?

Earth is stuffed with the blessings of God. Every new day, every new meal, every new drink of cold water, every new breath of fresh air testifies of the bounty of the Great Creator’s gracious provision. Are you someone who takes off his shoes in reverence and awe?

The universe is full of the presence and evidence of the Great Creator. Every sunrise, every star, every scenic vista speaks of the presence, power, and glory of the Great Creator. Are you distracted with trivia, plucking blackberries?

The vast expanse above of innumerable stars, magnificent galaxies, and beautiful nebulae all show that the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). It is literally too large to fathom. Are you occupied with the mundane, one of those who daub their natural faces, unaware

At the other extreme in the microscopic world, we see ever increasing complexity of structure and design as we look deeper and deeper. From where did it all come?

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5)
Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory. (Isaiah 6:3)
O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all: the earth is full of Your riches. (Psalm 104:24)

Aurora Leigh contains a staggering 11,000 lines in nine books. In the above passage from Book Seven, Elizabeth Barrett Browning alludes to Moses’ burning bush experience when Yahweh sent him back to Egypt to lead Israel out of slavery (Exodus 3:2-10). But she goes a step further in portraying every common bush as dramatically displaying God’s glory, afire with God.

As Browning says, many are unseeing, unaware of the hand of God in every blessing and every daily event. Often we are blinded to God’s presence by struggles, worries, illness, traffic jams, debts, and dirty laundry.

But the Christmas season, commemorating the cramming of the God-man into earth, should be a potent reminder of God’s hand of blessing upon mankind. It is the perfect time to encounter our Great Creator and His mighty works.

The Moses who saw the burning bush and removed his shoes, as alluded to by the poetess, said this to the nation of Israel:
“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.  So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.” (Deuteronomy 4:39-40)

Questions to Ponder

1. Why did Elizabeth Barrett Browning write a poem instead of an essay?
2. Can you add two lines of your own to the selection from Aurora Leigh?
3. Today, what can nudge you to “take off your shoes” before your Creator? What will that look like in your busy day?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom.
Alere Flammam Veritatis.
Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday December 7, 2022 A.D.

Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
(Psalm 145:3-5)

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  1. Excellent, Brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. She [Elizabeth Barret Browning] looks very interesting. May be starting a bit of a scholarly effort here (thanks to you). Your article was beautiful and brought a sudden bit of duct activity I didn’t expect. You and I (and Ms. Browning) think much alike over God’s magnificent creation, sir. Have a great celebration of our Savior’s first steps toward the Cross of Calvary, and may all yours be blessed and well this coming year!


    • I appreciate your well-crafted comment and your words of encouragement. Thanks for reading.


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