How proud we are

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         

How proud we are
to distinguish
among our illusions,
preferring this over that,

how possessive
of the wind in our hands,

the dogs of our minds
barking after squirrels,
“I am not this!”
“I am not that!”

But the blood-red rose
unfolding in our hearts
knows better
and calmly rejoices
at the stone
that is also the grief
that is also the stranger
that is also God.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

May 3, 2016  Leave a comment

It carries you

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         

         
You are not bearing a burden;
it carries you.

You are not crying out;
it speaks you.

They are not strangers
but bits of yourself you have not yet gathered.

The night is dark
but a path reaches out.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

May 2, 2016  Leave a comment

Slow spring

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

The trees here are still mostly bare,
their infinite fingers of resolute patience.
They are in no hurry. What will come,
will.

South of here it’s different, and farther north.
But this is here.

On some twigs the tenderest green
emerges, a different green, and fragile
as new things are.

Without yet the singing, buzzing and sweetness
they gather life in near-freezing wind, bare,
or nearly so.

Sap runs. You can’t see it.
Small things underground shift,
and something larger than all this.
Tomorrow is more open than the western sky,
moving.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 29, 2016  Leave a comment

Sometimes the wind

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

Sometimes the wind that strips everything
is the strong breathing of a yes.

The river of life wears away your little island
and bears you somewhere fertile.

Receive the gift only departing can bestow,
the holy not in what is anointed

but in what is next,
the beginning beyond the silence beyond the end.

In thickest darkness is a door felt, not seen.
It gives.

Beside you in confidence
God is uncompleting the journey for you.

Lay your hand on the dark door. A voice
says, “Come, join my becoming.”

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 28, 2016  Leave a comment

Do you want to be made well?

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
         When Jesus saw him lying there
         and knew that he had been there a long time,
         he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

                  —John 5.5-6

Sometimes not.
We want to hang onto our hurt.
We’re accustomed to adapting; sanity seems odd.
Sobriety scares us. Wholeness intimidates us.
It’s uncertain beyond the prison gates.
There’s shelter in anger, in victimhood, in helplessness.
And how can we live without the pity?
What would life be like without the drama?

Do you want to be forgiven?
Sometimes not. There’s stability in despair.
You can get so far behind you don’t have to run.
You can get comfy in the doghouse.

And there is this: someone will tell you
it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.
Easier to stay paralyzed than to bring down the temple.

Sometimes the greatest courage is needed
not to fight monsters, but to live an ordinary life.

Do you want to be made well?
It will be work. It will bring on the unknown.
You will stand on new legs. It will hurt.

Take up your mat and walk.
He will find you.

 
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 27, 2016  Leave a comment

Home

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         Those who love me will keep my word,
                  and my Father-Mother will love them,
         and we will come to them
                  and make our home with them.

                           —John 14.23

The Holy One is not a king on a high throne.
You don’t have to move your heart’s belongings
to the far-off city with gold streets.
God is not a destination.
God is a family. God is home.

The Beloved lives with you,
moves in with her plants and quilts,
a homemaker.

Beloved, you are my home,
my family, my belonging.
In you I can wear my pajamas.
No matter what happens to me,
how others treat me,
or even what I think of myself,
you are the warm, sold place I am safe,
I am free, I am myself, I am loved.
You are the family that includes me,
the beloved that know me,
that claim me as your own.
You live with me, make a home with me.
I am not separate or different.
I am one of us. I belong.

We all are. We all do.

         
         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 26, 2016  Leave a comment

And she prevailed

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         The apostle Paul, guided by a dream, went to Philippi.
         At the river some women had gathered for prayer.
         Lydia was baptized, and offered her home for Paul and his friends.
         Scripture records this: “And she prevailed upon us.”
(Acts 16.9-15)

The inner guide, the Teacher in us, follows a silent voice.
We learn to listen.

We go to new places and enter new experiences,
accepting not being “at home.”

We go down to the river: place or origin, place of flowing,
place of washing, place of gathering, place of prayer.

We are welcomed by women. We are dependent on women.
Scripture silences them, but they are leaders, they are heroes.

They are a community of faith and struggle, marginalized
but at the center of life. They are praying for us.

A seller of purple cloth, a strong woman, appears.
She opens her heart. She is transformed.

A woman’s voice within you speaks.
A woman’s voice within the Church speaks.

She makes a home for us. She welcomes us.
She is the temple. She is life. She is God.

The Transformed One, the Welcoming One
prevails.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 25, 2016  Leave a comment

Earth Day

         
         
Beloved Earth, I sit with you
not as a “resource” for me to use,
or an “environment” for me to occupy,
but as a friend,
a creature of God,
a living being.
You are Word given root and wind,
cell and sinew, mountain and depth.
Your seething, your burgeoning, your swirling
I dance with.
I am part of you.
I belong to you.
I live and die in you;
your living and dying is in me.
Your storms breathe in me,
schools of fish move in me.
Your diversity, your exuberance,
your teeming abundance
is my home, my body.
You are my teacher,
my mother,
my flesh.
Oh, Beloved Earth,
speak to me.
I will sit
a long time
and listen.

         
         
 

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 22, 2016  Leave a comment

“As I have loved you”

         
         I give you a new commandment,
                  that you love one another.
         Just as I have loved you,
                  you also should love one another.

                           —John 13.34

Loving One,
you who love me
with all your heart and all your soul
and all your mind and all your strength,

may I this day love as you have loved me.

Not by the golden rule, as I wish,
nor as I love myself, which falters,
but as you really have.

Without judgment, reservation or exception,
with only pure compassion and delight.

Knowing that even as I fail to love,
you love and forgive.

May your love for me
become my love for others,
for strangers and enemies,
for all living beings.

…Your love become my love….

Your love… my love…

         
         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 21, 2016  Leave a comment

Holy longing

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

On vacation I witnessed
birds and whales
that had traveled farther than I.

They take with them
their memories, their songs
and the sacred longing

that guides their migrations,
that leads me
in all my rambling,

the silent knowing
that seems like hunger,
seems like not knowing,

the sure desultory path
that is life, the way
that is the blessing,

the holy wandering
to life that awaits,
always toward you.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 20, 2016  Leave a comment

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