god in the ground beneath you

hi there. time for our midweek prompt, you say?. you can use this to inspire a blog post, poem, journal entry, or thought train whilst scrubbing the kitchen sink. (a secondary prompt is to write without caps, a method e.e. cummings liked to employ, to help you see and experience the words in a different way than is the custom.)

"god is everywhere" i was told as a child. and for 38 years i took that to mean god was in the air all around me- god filled all the empty spaces. but what does everywhere mean? also i was told that god dwelled within me so that was the one and only exception to the rule- god could inhabit people. so, people and air. but that is not what everywhere means, is it?

as a child and throughout my life all the way up until age 36, i felt a presence in the air around me that i named "god." then suddenly, that presence vanished. it was as painful as being abandoned. some dear and faithful friends prayed over me that i would feel that presence once again, and i waited and waited for it.

as a person who has a bit of the little mermaid curse- i can walk around on solid ground but not without pain- i have always tried to feel airborne in other ways. climb trees. climb rocks. escape through the imagination. be somewhere high above and way off the ground. soar. anywhere but where it feels like my body is being pulled toward death against my will.

when i chose ground as my word for the year, well, it actually jumped off the page of a book and grabbed my face with both hands as if to say "pay attention!" and ground become my homecoming beacon for the spirit that says she loves to wander but is often just fleeing pain.

so i began to think about what i was sure i didn't want to think about: the ground beneath me. what it felt like. what it was good for. why i might need it. and not to go all pollyanna-like on you, (but yeah, that's what i'm doing,) i began to take note of all the good things earth was offering me: a resting place. a quietness. stability. a reliable friend who is always there. more, i began to pay attention to the rhythm, the vibration, the pulsing of life being fed into my body through the soles of my bare feet.

then, i felt a presence.

the one i'd been missing for two years because i was looking for god in the air. i was searching for the god i wanted and expected instead of one who exists uncreated, untameable, mysterious, out of control, free.

i felt a presence in the ground beneath me, the presence of god- of a loving divine being who cares for me as a mother her children. because it turns out god isn't just in the unfilled spaces- god is truly everywhere. even, especially, in the ground beneath my feet. (i get it now, st. patrick!) 

god in the ground beneath your feet
will tell you that you are powerful
and remind you when you forget
when you can’t take one more step
but no one else has a fire to warm you

god in the ground when you laid yourself down-
when your bones gave you up for the frost-
ignited the fight within your own sun
brought forth the flood of light from your eyes
and handed you back to yourself.

god in the ground beneath your feet
courage to forge a new path
strength to know when it’s time to sleep
praise for permitting yourself to be weak
to live full and name yourself whole

writing prompt: god in the ground beneath me


  • how have you experienced the presence of the divine outside of your expectations?
  • write about a way the ground is significant to you
  • tell me what holy/hallowed ground means to you
  • the photo in this post may inspire you- follow that lead instead
  • write what comes to you, not what i tell you ;)

as always, i'd like to hear about your experience or have you share a link in the comments to your own post. come and tell me and we'll pretend we're having a chat over a good cup of tea!

Jamie Bagley