“It is so good to see you, Daddy.” Not the words I expected to hear after work yesterday, but spoken nonetheless.

My reply, “You see me every day. We live in the same house,” fell on deaf ears.

“Yes, but do we really see each other?” came my daughter’s retort.

It is a great question.

For the last several days, I have been pondering a verse from Victorian poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It comes from book VII of her novel in verse, Aurora Leigh

“Earth is 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 

More and more, from the first similitude.”

The lines remind me that the earth is brimming with people that need to really see each other and places that can only be enjoyed when we take our shoes off and go barefoot. But for some reason, I seem to sit around with my shoes on missing the real thing, settling instead for some empty substitute.

A glimpse of Heaven can be seen in the eyes of the single mom who works the counter at the grocery store. When you get down on your knees and talk to a preschooler in the church lobby. In the reading of a story book and the smile that results when your little girl is tucked in tight at night. In a kiss at the end of the day.

“Yes, but do we really see each other?”

Somehow we miss the checkout clerk, ignoring her as we browse our phone messages. Toddlers are not important enough for us to stoop to their level. Stories go unread, and kisses are withheld.

The fire of God burns bright in the common moments all around us and yet we settle for plucking the blackberries of pleasure, sadly unaware of His presence, refusing to go barefoot.

I’m guessing there is someone you need to “see” today. Someone you have been overlooking. Maybe even someone you live with?

Only he who sees takes off his shoes. And only the one who is barefoot recognizes the Divine in the mundane.

Open your eyes today!



Do you ever find yourself too preoccupied to really “see” the people who are right in front of you?