I had to work hard for those blooms, spraying the buds every time these pesky little "ants" tried to suck the life out of them. Now the hard-won flowers give ME life and joy through their beauty. My only sadness is that the first bloom is already dying.
The supernaturally beautiful bush that Moses approached with amazement was brimming with a fire that wasn't consuming it! It stayed miraculously alive in the flames. And God spoke from this bush to this Jew, this murderer and fugitive from Egyptian justice, who was shepherding his father-in-law's flocks: "Moses!...Come no nearer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground...I am the God of your father...the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob...I Am Who Am...This is My Name forever; this is my title for all generations."
Moses hid his face at first, because he believed that no one could see God and live. That's why God told him that He was the God of all the ancient patriarchs, long dead before Moses' time. "Don't be afraid of death," God is saying. "All who die live on in Me - I Am the God of the Living. I AM WHO AM - the Source of all created being. I live forever. The Word of My Name lives forever." (This story is in Exodus 3.)
Moses didn't have to work hard to see this bush in full, fiery bloom, as I worked hard to receive my peony blooms. He received this vision of the Lord totally unexpectedly, unready, unaware, unworthy. Moses is us, for surely we are unworthy, every time we receive God into our lives - not having to "work" to receive Him, for His Presence is always pure Gift.
Yet, unworthy as we are, Moses must also have been a man of prayer to be able to see the Vision. Prayer is simply opening ourselves to God's daily Presence in our lives, those Appearances as wondrous and unsought-for as a Burning Bush, as beautiful as the ordinary wonder of a blooming peony. Those Appearances and Events are our own holy ground. God is as alive in our world's life and in our lives, in spite of terrible cataclysms, as surely as He always has been and always will be. God, our fiery Word of Life, stands for us forever.