Take off your shoes

Take off your shoes

God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ (Exodus 3:5)

Why ‘take off your shoes’ rather than ‘get on your knees’ or ‘bow your head’ or ‘raise your hands’?

Taking off your shoes is surely in part an expression of moving out of one place (where shoes were needed) and into another (where they are not). Separation is one of the connotations of ‘holiness.’

There is certainly an aspect of purity too, leaving the dirt from the road behind and honouring the host by not dirtying their space (although God is with us on the dusty road too of course!).

But taking off your shoes also means you are choosing not to go anywhere for a while. You are going to stay here and to be fully present, rather than keeping one foot out of the door (or one eye on your phone and half of your mind elsewhere). And should that ever sound a little dry, remember that the other place you are asked to take off your shoes is as you step onto the bouncy castle or into the trampoline park.