Black frame

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         
The black frame

holds the portrait
treasures it

sets it off from
the wall’s infinity

like silence after
and before

not to mock
or force a lack

but issue forth
confer a given name

echo its colors
answer back

its lines and shapes
in rhyme

and draw your eye
to beauty

not of an image but
of the one you know

not ink or paint
but love

given not made
untakable

not cut off
but heightened

by the loving
embrace of

the black frame.

 

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.

March 10, 2017  Leave a comment

Breathe

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         Unless you are born anew you cannot see the Realm of God.
         That which is born of spirit is spirit.

                  — John 3.3, 6

You cannot get life, earn it,
keep it, store it up like money.
It is breath, Spirit.

You receive it.
Then you release it,
and become open to receive again.

You cannot hold it.
You must receive it
as God gives it to you.

Let go of your life,
accomplishments and mistakes,
all you deserve — good and bad —

and instead receive it anew from God
in this moment,
a single breath.

Let your repentance
be simply to breathe,
to receive and let go.

All the things you have to do
and all the things you want to do
disappear into the breath.

It is a death and resurrection.
Let yourself disappear into the breath,
the spirit, and be born again.

Go slow enough to live in the breath,
to surrender the life you build and hoard,
and to live the life God gives you.

Falling and rising, your breath
is the gift of life from God,
made new in every moment.

Breathe gently.
Breathe deeply.
Breathe life.

+

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

March 9, 2017  Leave a comment

Born again prayer

         No one can see the Realm of God
         without being born again from above.

                           —John 3.3

God, birth me anew.
Let me start again.
I surrender everything to you:
my life, my aims, my will.
Start me over, fresh,
without guilt or shame or claims.
Let my life spring from you
and you alone,
you the divine flame
and me your light,
issuing from you new each moment.
I receive this glorious life you give me,
new and awkward and still learning.
Let me be vulnerable, a baby in your arms,
utterly dependent, helpless but for you.
Water of my flesh and spirit of my God,
birth me into this good world
now
               and now
                                    and now…

__________________
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

March 8, 2017  Leave a comment

Let her

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         

Come to her.
Let her give you
the renewal of her body
as only she can,
point you where you’re headed
and let go.

Let her hold you in her lap,
all your scrapes and bruises,
your trinkets in your hands.

Let her do what you can’t,
let her grow you within herself

and with the pain of labor,
the dark, impossible passage,
birth you again
and give you to this bight, new world.

 

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

March 7, 2017  Leave a comment

How do you know

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      

How do you know, they ask us,
so certain of their doubt.

We don’t. We are simply beckoned.
We are open, which is our knowing,
in wonder more than certainty,
a way of not knowing
with deep faith.
We lean toward a darkness
shining with a mysterious presence.

We merely know
with a knowing greater than our minds
that there is more.
We don’t have a name for that More,
just a longing, which is our knowing.
We know our food by our hunger,
our wonder a way forward.

A bond beyond our knowing
grows in us, a belonging without a bottom,
without end.
The darkness answers our question
with a question,
and we listen.
The Mystery beckons,
and we draw near.

         
 
         
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

March 6, 2017  Leave a comment

Place

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

          The devil took him to a very high mountain
          and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
          and he said to him, “All these I will give you,
          if you will fall down and worship me.”
          Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
          ‘Worship Yahweh your God, and serve God alone.’”

                           —Matthew 4.8-10

I confess: I seek a place in a world
that is not Thee.
I seek belonging in a realm of dislocation,
this world’s imaginary kingdoms.
I read the world’s opinion and believe it;
I covet the esteem of ignorance,
the delusion of my loyal subjects
upon the throne of elsewhere.

Teach me to be at home in you,
to rest my hand on a desert rock
until I see they are the same.
To float in the sea until I know
myself to be in you.
To walk among men and women
and know that they and I and you are one.

I abdicate my throne for you,
and here, bereft,
belong.

          Then the devil left him,
          and suddenly angels came
          and waited on him.

__________________
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

March 3, 2017  Leave a comment

Stone

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness
         to be tempted by the devil.
         He fasted forty days and forty nights,
         and afterwards he was famished.
         The tempter came and said to him,
         “If you are the Son of God, command these stones
         to become loaves of bread.”
         But he answered, “It is written,
         ‘One does not live by bread alone,
         but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

                           —Matthew 4. 1-4

God, I confess
I want to turn these stones to bread.
I want to turn this prayer into piety,
this day, this life, into something else.
I want the power to make something
what it is not.

I will let the stone be a stone
and this moment be what it is,
and hunger hunger.
I let go of the illusion
of power to unmake what is
into what I wish.

Without judgment or willfulness
I will let each stone be its stone,
and most: myself what I am,
for only thus, not as I wish or fear,
but truly, do I know you as you are,
loving beyond my desire or imagination.

+

__________________
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

March 2, 2017  Leave a comment

Dust

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         Then the devil took him to the holy city
         and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him,
         “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down;
         for it is written, ‘God will command the angels concerning you,’
         and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
         so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
         Jesus said to him, “Again it is written,
         ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

                           —Matthew 4.5-7

We want to survive.
Our ego craves security—
that what we think of as our “self” endures,
safe and free and whole in itself.
Pain and suffering press against that craving;
we don’t like them.
Mortality assaults our security; we fear and fight it.
We wish to be able to escape harm
(our superheroes can do it).
We’re afraid the world’s treatment of us,
our suffering and pleasure,
is a measure of our deserving.
Wrapped in our ego-cocoon,
we equate comfort with security
and security with being an enduring self.
But we do not endure separate from God.
We are just dirt rearranged—
except for God’s Spirit in us.
So rather than try to preserve the dirt
we choose to live by the Spirit.
Today someone will smear mud on our face
and tell us we are dust,
and to dust we shall return, no escape.
We are forgiven,
set free from the lie of “deserving,”
free to live by the power of the Spirit alone.
Rather then wanting to escape, alone,
we return, dust and all, to God,
who holds us tenderly
and re-creates us each breath,
this grace our only security.

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

March 1, 2017  Leave a comment

Fat Tuesday

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.

         
The butter and eggs, they are good.
The glad songs of praise,
with both “Alleluias” and a bit of honey on our lips,
these are good.
There will come a time for fasting—but, wait.
First, let us praise butter,
how it enriches and enlightens our food,
how it causes us joy and gratitude.
Let us give thanks for the riches of life
and indulge in them honestly
before we turn from them
so that we might remember
that the fault is not theirs,
but only in our craving.
I shall eat pancakes today with deep mindfulness
so that I may say goodbye to them properly,
so that in the next forty days
I might learn attentiveness without them
and afterward return to such riches of life
not with selfish craving
but with reverence.
Let delight be the beginning and end
of my devotion.

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

February 28, 2017  Leave a comment

Coming

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         

         
Lovers
embrace at a train station.

All Creation exults
at your coming,

even in winter
blossoms are not ashamed to open.

Every day I rise up laughing,
every moment it’s always like this,

every step an unwrapping,
every breath an arrival.

Even before the train has stopped
you have leaped,

you run toward us,
arms open.

 

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

February 27, 2017  Leave a comment

« older posts newer posts »