by Rosanne Osborne
What is this? Bush burning out of control? How could this be? Surely, God must be near. And he was! He spoke to Moses from that bush. Don’t come near, but remove your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I want you to free your people in Egypt. You couldn’t ask me to go to Egypt. Pharaoh wouldn’t listen or give control of the Hebrews to me. He hates the ground I walk on. That other time is too near. But God said, you’d be wearing sandals that I give you, words spoken from this bush. Parden? Pharaoh has no care for this bush. It has no meaning to him in Egypt. He hears his own words, wears his own sandals. In his mind, he is a God with control over every person both far and near. I don’t dare walk again on his ground. But I Am had spoken, and the old ground of his disgrace would become Moses’s bush. First, he was told to draw his people near. Then, he was to ask Pharaoh for Egypt to loosen its hold, turn over control of Hebrew fate. He shook in his sandals. That he would get his use out of those sandals was a certainty with the amount of ground to cover, challenging Pharaoh’s control. He would have to let the burn of that bush be dominant in his mind as Egypt experienced its full power draw near. The Egyptians would loath having Moses near before all was said and done, his sandals history as was his sojourn in Egypt. They would be left to maintain their own ground and contemplate the fire in that strange bush and the certain power of its control. And so to Egypt, Moses drew near, a man in control of his own sandals, walking the ground commanded by the bush.
An English professor, Methodist pastor, clarinetist, and poet, Rosanne Osborne holds the Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama, the MFA from Spalding University, and the MRE and MDiv from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She grew up in Missouri but has lived most of her adult life in Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Alabama Review, Christian Century, Ruminate, Thema, Penwood Review, and The Village Pariah.