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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 20, 2016  Leave a comment

Do you love me?

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Two Greek words are translated as “love.”
Philios is brotherly love, loyalty, affinity.
Agape is self-giving compassion.

Jesus says, “Peter, will you give yourself to me?”
Peter says, “Lord, I’ll be your pal.”

“Peter, do you care deeply for me?”
“Jesus, you know I’ll be loyal.”

So Jesus meets him where he’s at.
“Peter, will you be my friend?”
“Yes, Lord, I will.”

Jesus asks deep, self-giving love of us,
love not for our sake but his.
Sometimes the best we can do
is lightweight friendship.
And in his deep love for us,
Jesus takes whatever we can offer.

And directs that love, whatever it is,
toward the rest of our kin,
for that is where we really love God:
“Feed my sheep.”
Sometimes we discover our love for God
by loving others.

Always Jesus invites us deeper.
“Follow me.”
Peter may not expect much of himself,
but Jesus promises that he will go on:
“You will be led where you did not choose.”

Pay attention to what tugs at your love,
however weak it may seem.
Let it lead you deeper.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 8, 2016  Leave a comment

Gone fishing

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Peter says, “I’m going fishing.”
What? So soon? Fishing already,
in the smelly little boat,
not running through Jerusalem
preaching resurrection?

Well, why not?
Why make him change jobs?
Why make him seem so different from us?

If resurrection isn’t about real lives, our real lives,
then what good is it?
Maybe Peter experienced Easter then went home.
Carried on. No big career change. Just a changed heart.
After all, we go on living.
The changes are mostly within, mostly slow.

What changes is how we see the world,
how we love people, how we trust,
how we risk for the sake of justice—
as fishers, bus drivers, lawyers.

How will you proclaim the good news
in what you do today,
not in some fantasy life, but this one?
How will you live the new life
in this one?

Today is a good enough day
and this is a good enough place
to embody resurrection,
to rise with crazy joy.
I’ll go with you.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 7, 2016  Leave a comment

Fish

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         

         Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach;
                  but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
         Jesus said to them, “Dear children, you have no fish, have you?”
                  They answered him, “No.”
         He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat,
                  and you will find some.”

                           —John 21.4-5

The surface is always blank.
The real, submerged.

Look down into that sky,
where beneath a vague cloud flashes,

—is it above or below?—
created, given, waiting.

There is another way,
another side of your little boat.

Beneath your dreary, fruitless nights
something graced awaits,

abundance exceeding your capacity, blessing
at which you laugh in wonder and fright,

a gift that bears you to the breaking point,
a net swelled with light and glory,

and not by luck, but given in love: a presence,
a companionship you hadn’t recognized.

Heaven is offered, hearts are restored
in something as simple as a broiled fish, shared.

But first you learn a new way,
another side, the unrecognized friend.

And then, after the gift, the revelation,
you learn a new way, another side.

The Mystery doesn’t leave you.
It leads.

 

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 6, 2016  Leave a comment

A lovely spring day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Days are longer now,
birds sing sweetly,
daffodils sway brightly,
and a storm dumps four inches of snow
and a tree on our house.
On the road
the sun on the deadly ice is brilliant.

Life mixes its metaphors.
Besides the snow in the driveway
I also need to shovel off
my notions of what ought to be.

On lovely spring days there are pallbearers,
and blessings in my failures.
Life is not under my management.
It is free, and dappled, not pure.

Life is this, not something else.
Pay attention.
Even God does not yet know
what’s in store before unfolding in it.
I release my designs
and receive this day as it is.
It will be holy enough.

______________________
Weather Report

A high pressure region evaporates forecasts
today and into tomorrow,
each moment unfolding
as it does, without label or category.
Expect the strong front of the present moment
to disregard our expectations
and develop into what it does.
The afternoon commute
will be one. You will arrive.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

April 5, 2016  Leave a comment

My eyes be yours

      
         

My eyes be yours,
that I see what is before me,
and the glory there.

My feet be yours,
that I trust this earth that holds me,
and find a path.

My ears be yours,
that I listen deeply to each one,
and hear you singing.

My hands be yours,
that giving or receiving, working or resting,
they hold you.

My breathing be yours,
that your infinite mercy
unfold in me.

My heart be yours,
that I laugh freely in joy
that is not mine alone.

My unknowing be yours,
for in this loving mystery
I belong.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 4, 2016  Leave a comment

Welcoming meditation

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
                  
In anxiety,
the doors of your heart are locked.

But they protect inward space.
Open your inner spaciousness
for the Guest.
Don’t worry about your attitude;
just create space in your breathing,
in the actual sensations in your body,
for the Guest to be there.

Welcome him.
Pay attention to him.
Be present to him.
Feel the sensation of his breath in you.

Let him show you his wounds:
your fear, your anger, your shame, your grief.
There is enough love for you to bear it.
Simply let him be there.

Let him speak to you.
Let him set you free.
If you forgive anything, it is forgiven.
If you retain it, it is retained.
You can let the anxieties go.

He breathes his life into you.
Now you can pass through those doors,
at peace.

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

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April 1, 2016  Leave a comment

Praying John 20.19-29

Jesus, I confess:
at times my doors are locked
in fear.

You respect my defenses,
yet you step through my fears
and come to me.

You grant me your peace.
You breathe your spirit into me,
a Pentecost, a new birth.

You give me power to forgive,
the choice to be free of other’s sins
or to stay burdened by them.

You send me, as you are sent,
to those who long for you
but need to see and touch.

In your Spirit may I meet them as one
who has felt the wounds of the world
and still stands among them in love.

May Love be my Lord and my God.
Give me courage, Jesus,
to unlock those doors.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

March 31, 2016  Leave a comment

I reach out my hand

         
         “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
         and put my finger in the mark of the nails
         and my hand in his side,
         I will not believe.”

                  —John 20.25

It’s not that I don’t believe,
it’s just that I don’t feel you,
solid, right here,
and sometimes, Lord, I need to.
I need you more than I have you.
I don’t hear your voice,
calm and clear and sweet in my ear
like some people do,
and I want to.
I know you are here,
but I want to feel you.
Forgive my neediness—
but Beloved, come to me.

You give me this grace,
that faith is not certainty
but turning toward you.

You teach me to hear you
in the silence within,
to see you where I do see you,
to feel your wounds
in the wounds of the world.

So I reach out my hand.

I reach out my hand.

I reach out my hand.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

March 30, 2016  Leave a comment

For the dullness I pray

         
         

         
For the dullness that encloses me I pray
your grace burn off the morning fog.

That the dream of doubt I wear like clothes
I pray may in your light dissolve, and fall away.

For healing of the wound that is a world that is a wall
between me and your delight, and mine, I pray.

From the coma of my fears awaken me
with your warming, seeing sun.

For my eyes, sleep-sealed and glazed, I pray
to see the nub and fullness of what is.

From the soft bed of my grave
raise me into this day amazed and new.

         
         

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

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight (at)gmail.com

March 29, 2016  Leave a comment

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