A burning bush is a sign, a happening, a conversation with God himself. It means shedding your shoes in awestruck wow, being thankful for the beauty of the earth. This experience usually catches us by surprise, interrupts us, and we must let it. On Mount Horeb, Moses is preoccupied with the daily work of caring for his father-in-law's flocks when he notices the burning bush. He says to himself, "I've got to see why this bush is not burned up, though it is in flame." Then, after he turns aside to look, he hears the Lord speaking to him. It's like those words in the hymnal:
For the joy of ear and eye
For the heart and brain's delight,
For the mystic harmony
Sinking sense to sound and sight ("For The Beauty of the Earth", 1864).
This is actually quite extraordinary if you stop to think about it. How is it that Something flashes and leaps through the gate of the eye, crashes through to the mind and makes the Image on the retina mean something, sinking it down to the level of sense? Not only that, it opens up the other senses, like hearing, tasting, smelling, touch - maybe a host of other sensations yet undiscovered. Could it be that Imagination is simply responding, much like Moses did to the burning bush? That is, turning aside from routine, following a curiosity, humbly shedding shoes, and finally - maybe - hearing from God Himself?
Please. Let us look for the beauty. Yes, this world is scattered with emptied images that invite us to grieve. But it is also full-to-bursting with blazing branches that refuse to be consumed. It is time we took off our shoes and listened.