Don’t look for God

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Don’t look for God.
That’s too big,
an unsolvable problem,
an unknowable truth.

Look for life.
Look for what is deeply living,
freely, wildly alive,
wherever you find it,
in the created order,
in the human family,
in your own soul.

Look for what makes you alive,
what sets you free,
what puts breath in your heart
and color on the cheeks of your soul.

Look for where your life
is part of all life.

Look for life,
honor it everywhere you meet it
with devotion and humility.

Look for life
and the Holy One
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

September 29, 2016  Leave a comment

Increase our faith

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

The apostles said, “Increase our faith!” The Teacher replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are ordinary slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
                  —Luke 17.5-10

We long for deeper meaning,
and to make a difference in this world.
If you have even a little poppy seed of trust
in the infinite power of God’s love
you can say to the tree of injustice,
“Be uprooted and thrown
into the chaos of new creation!”
and it will be so.
We who serve the Realm of Grace
aren’t here to be served.
We’re not here for the world to wait on us.
We’re here because we care about this.
When we do our small part for justice
it’s not us, but God’s infinite love flowing through us.
We just say, “I’m an ordinary servant.
I’m simply living the life God has given me to live.”

Deep blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily email
write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

September 28, 2016  Leave a comment

Sing the Lord’s song

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         How could we sing the Lord’s song
                  in a foreign land?

                           —Psalm 137.4

The world around us can seem foreign:
strange ideals, the consumption of lives,
the poetry of evil, ill-costumed words,
violence slithering through smooth phrases,
death clad as commerce, fear as pride,
the noise of the glib machinery of injustice,
the wailing of anger, cynicism and dread.

How can we sing the song of peace,
the gentle air of love amid such clamor?

Be still and listen to the silence within,
the mothering heartbeat,
the sea of mercy breathing about us,
heaven humming a little lullaby,
a song for a child afraid to rest,
sung to us, soft, since our beginning,
song of the earth despite our cruelties,
song of slaves in chains and mothers in labor,
song of your own pulse and breath.
Listen. The Steadfast One is singing to you.

Go back to the stillness you came from
and listen.
Let the Lord’s song sing in you.
Let it become become your only voice.

         

         
         
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

September 27, 2016  Leave a comment

Rekindle the gift

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
                  —2 Timothy 1.6

You have a treasure in you,
a seed of glory planted from stars,
a song written for only you to sing.
You have gifts to give.

The treasure is buried,
and it may take some digging to recover.
The song is forgotten,
but still hidden in your bones.

Nothing that happens to you
can remove it, no fear or shame
destroy it, no failure ruin it.
It is who you are.

Rekindle the gift.
Listen for the quiet voice,
the Spirit of Life
singing in you.

Listen… and sing.
Tune your life to its melody.
Let it sing in you,
let it sing you into life.

Rekindle the gift
that is God within you.
Give God this joy— for it is
God who is singing.

      

         
         
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

September 26, 2016  Leave a comment

Psalm 91

         
         
You who live in trust of the One,
         who abide in the Holy Presence,
will say, “You are my refuge, my safety,
         my Beloved, to whom I belong.
You save me from those who would use me,
         from what would ruin my life.
You hold me in strong, gentle arms;
         in your company I find shelter;
         in your faithfulness I am home.”

You will not live in fear:
         bad news won’t disturb you,
         threats will not deter you.
Whatever troubles assail you
         your soul is still intact.
Evil will tear at those around you—
          you will feel its torrid breath—
          but it can’t touch your Belovedness.
Look and see with the eyes of your heart
         the agony of those who do evil.
But you trust the Beloved with your life,
         the One Who Holds This
                  with your very being.

Your struggles will not defeat you;
         your losses can’t destroy you.
The Gracious One surrounds you with love,
         companions you steadfastly,
shares your pain,
         keeps your hope alive,
with grace greater than your failings,
         healing deeper than your wounds.
You will stand up to ominous powers
         and resist devious schemes.

The Loving One says, “I am with you.
         I make of you more than you imagine.
Entrust yourself to me;
         I will carry you through this.
Let my love flow through you,
         and I will give you life,
         life that can’t be taken from you.”

         
         

__________________
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

September 23, 2016  Leave a comment

First day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
First day of autumn,
season of diminishment.
Trees open the pages
of their psalms of lament,
their long slow humility.
Leaves mutter loss over and over.
Veined and wrinkled hands
like mine
let go.
The ground is a resting place
of brown and yellow bits of things,
seedfall and leafscatter,
rustle of death.

In my sixties
my days narrow now,
a passage of shedding.

And yet— in Australia this very day
is a first day of spring,
the other side of this passage,
this dying a rising
into something new, unburdened,
and alive.

         
         
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

September 22, 2016  Leave a comment

Lazarus

         
         There was a rich man…
                  and at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…

                           —Luke 16.19, 20

God, I confess
the riches I take for granted,
the privilege that allows me
to not see the needy outside my gate,
obliterated in my drunken stupor
of “all lives matter.”
I confess the gate.

I confess I seek my own completeness
without them.
I prefer comfort to justice,
the sumptuous feast
to the bosom of Abraham.

I confess I see the poor as other than me,
myself as other than poor.
I confess I see them as other than you.

Lazarus God,
this is how you come to me.
This is your visitation.

Let me be poor in keeping
and rich in sharing.
Let me not be alone at my table.
I will let you in.

God, open my eyes,
open my heart, open my hands.
Open my gate.

         

         
         

__________________
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

September 21, 2016  Leave a comment

Still thirsting

         
         
The woods around here drip and steam,
each leaf is licked and slicked and trimmed
with last night’s rain, and every breeze shakes loose
another rain of drops. A silvered field
of grasses shimmers in the sun. Dim puddles
pool beneath the fading ferns a while,
then disappear into the thirsty ground.
Mist floats in bunches over hills, their ghostly
tatters trailing in the trees. The air
is dim this morning, dense with sweat.

But it is dry in these woods, and not wet.
This rain that passed and dropped its hanky here
has not relieved this drought. The stream bed’s blank.
The lakes are down. The land is thirsty still.

So I can be: devoutly praying, calmed
by sounds of running fountains in my psalms,
and yet I never stay enough to let the rain
soak in, soak in, go deep, and flood my soul.
         

         
         

__________________
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

September 20, 2016  Leave a comment

Rain

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
When the world seems tilted into darkness,
         rotting at the edges,
when large, hard beasts
         lumber up just behind the horizon,
when the great cathedral ceiling
         in my chest falls to dust,
and the knowing beneath my knowing
         shuts its mouth in horror
                  or shame,
when the hands of my heart tremble,

I may sit in candlelight
and watch the storm
from inside the window,
but eventually
I go out
into the darkness,
into the rain,
                           
the rain,

with its infinite
tender fingers.

__________________
Weather report

Massage
as a Source greater than our failures
floods us and sweeps away
our pockets of stationary air.
Expect bathing and rinsing
especially at lower instincts,
moved by water and the Spirit.
Surface anxiety will give way to trust,
possibly turning to hope later in the day.
         
         
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

September 19, 2016  Leave a comment

Be of this earth

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Walk among trees who do not judge you,
who travel seasons in perfect meekness.

Leave the drumbeat of blocks and apartments,
hours and trains, lines and squares,
and return to the rhythm of living things.

Observe beings who live the life they are given.

Go at a pace you won’t trip over roots
while looking up.

Listen to the conversation the sun has with the grasses,
watch its slow labor among the trees.

Let your life become as purposeful as any wild thing.

Stay long enough to shed the illusion
that you are superior, that you are separate,
that this is not also your flesh.

Let your breath, prairie wind, sea breeze,
—amazing gift, moment after moment!—
carry you through the day.

Your own organs, your hands, your eyes,
let them infest this day of work.

Earthling, be of this earth.
Let it have 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

September 16, 2016  Leave a comment

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