Miracles

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

      He could do no deed of power there…
      and he was amazed at their unbelief.

            —Mark 6.5-6

 

Not under obligation
to believe what does not come to me,
nor credited with clever faith,

but merely open
to what may unfold
beyond my familiarity,

I watch
for what miracles
you may perform:

this moment, sung to me,
a platter of joy and blessing
produced out of thin air,

the light that fills the eyes I open,
heavenly beings surrounding me,
yes these,

even my wondering,
even my breath,
even myself.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

July 2, 2015  Leave a comment

Rage

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

I want to pray in peace,
to pray for justice in this world,
but I think of the the brutalized,
the enslaved, the run-over …
and I am in rage.
I think of the tortured and exploited
and rage rises in me like a fire
and consumes my prayer. It is my prayer.
I do not feel peace. I feel rage at our evil.
Heat, burning.

So I sit with it
so the rage that is powerlessness
burns away from the rage that is love,
so that it doesn’t become mere anger,
mere resentment, even hate.
I let the rage burn in the consuming fire
of the love of God,
the burning bush that called Moses,
the pillar of flame that led them to freedom,
the lamp uncovered on the stand,
the zeal that turned over tables,
the fire of Pentecost that sent the martyrs
out into the flames of their world.

Until the rage becomes light.
Heat, yes, and light.

This candle has ben burning
for a million years.

I will go with a broken heart,
and with compassion,
humility, and mercy.
I will go with courage, I pray,
with passion unfading.
And in God’s grace I will go with rage.

Do not let me have too much peace, God.
Do not let the fire go out.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

July 1, 2015  Leave a comment

Justice

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Justice is not an ideal,
far off and longed for:
it is a power within you,
an unstoppable river.

The Empire of God
is among you.

Justice is already,
in the beating of your heart
with others, its leaning
out over the troubled street
to touch them.

The seed sprouts and grows,
you know not how.

Healing is not a future:
it is a flowering now,
a hand opening unseen.

We need not wait for justice:
it is a compassion flowing now,
a courage rising up in you now,
it is who we are already,
the electricity among us all
now emerging, always struggling,
always birthing, always,
now.

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

June 30, 2015  Leave a comment

Fountain of mercy

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

How could they
to whom such monstrous things have happened
forgive so readily, so deeply, with such reach?
A man wanted to start a race war
and they diverted it into an outbreak
of forgiveness.
How did they do this?

Like the response team
rushing toward the burning building,
this is what they have been practicing
all their lives,
to love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
to be light amidst darkness,
to be a fountain of mercy
from the depths, always and no matter what:
to not have to “get to a place of forgiveness”
because you already live there.

They knew your Grace, O God;
it was all they had in their hands,
all they had to give.

God, fill me with your love,
let your mercy flow through me,
and help me to practice forgiveness
every day, every day, every moment,
so that at the time it is most needed
I too will be ready.

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

June 29, 2015  Leave a comment

A prayer for readiness

 

         Jairus begged him,
         “My little daughter is at the point of death.
         Come….” So he went with him.
                    
— Mark 5.22-24

God of love,
you call me to love, to be kind,
to extend your grace to all.
You call me to step out of myself
to care, to forgive, to bless, to heal.
You call me to leave my place of comfort,
even to enter into unfamiliar ground,
the house of the stranger, my opponent’s turf,
to love them.
Deepen in me this day my willingness to go,
my readiness to show kindness to all.

I do not have the power to heal;
it is your power.
I enter into your healing that is present.
Deepen in me this day my awareness of your grace.

I am mindful of those asking for help
and those silently reaching out for you.
May your healing unfold within them.
Deepen in me this day my love for them all,
my ear for their cries,
my openness to your grace.

God of love,
today I would be loving.

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

June 26, 2015  Leave a comment

What the stone says

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

How can you not see it,
if you stand still enough,
or walk out far enough:
the light shimmering from every leaf,
the actual hardness of every stone?
This stone says something
of humility and presence,
of where it came from, and the belly of stars,
but it stays silent to draw you nearer.
We are, all of us, even the thin geranium
on the back stoop, reaching up
for light, for life, for beauty,
singing out with the great silent voice
of the immense glory of being,
the long, amazing story
and a love story it is.
Without your having to remember—
such a gift, such a gift—
your lungs open to the world
and take in life, each moment.
Who gave you that?
How can you not sing, even in silence?
When we grow afraid we forget,
we wear protective layers
of things to believe, things to do,
so many things to do,
so that we don’t come too near
and catch fire.

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

June 25, 2015  Leave a comment

Stillness

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

    You sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed sprouts and grow,
you do not know how.

—Mark 4.27

         He was aware that power
had gone forth from him.

—Mark 5.30

Healing happens without my effort,
without my knowing how,
without my knowing at all.

I recover from illness, from trauma,
from exercise, from life:
by resting, that is all.
Healing and growth come in rest,
the stillness between the efforts.

I protect the stillness
in true Sabbath:
not merely nodding to the shrine
as I hurry on,
not promising to be—though I would—
mindful amidst the swirl,
but free of the swirl,
still,
actually stopped,

without fear or guilt,
accomplishing nothing,
repenting of nothing,
purely here, waiting, being.

In stillness alone
you are here

and in stillness
I am with you,
I receive you
and receive your miraculous grace.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

June 24, 2015  Leave a comment

Not enough time

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         Jairus begged him repeatedly, My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him…. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?”…. The woman came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. …  While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?”…. He took her hand, and she got up….
—from Mark 5.2143

Jesus, interrupted, follows.
Interrupted again, he stops.
The clock ticking,
sirens still blaring, lights flashing,
he stops and listens.
His pause, it seems, is deadly.
But it isn’t, is it?

Who does not feel the devil
turning within you, chanting,
There is not enough time?
Who does not fear the story,
told from behind a dark curtain,
You don’t have the power?

Of course you don’t.
It’s not yours.
Time does not belong; it flows.
Power does not sit; it flows.
You don’t have to dip into
your little purse of time and energy:
you let infinite grace flow through you.

Healing happens without your effort;
you are only present.
It is not your time, not your energy, but God’s.
You enter the river, and it flows through you.

When you are present in this moment
you will be present in the next.

And thus it is, when you are present in this life
you are present in the next.

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

June 23, 2015  Leave a comment

In secret

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.



The seed sprouts and grows,
you know not how…

The Peace that calms the storm
is already gathering in the heart
of one who sleeps at the stern of the boat…

You will be diverted from your journey
and even in your detour interrupted…

but grace will overtake you.

You will sleep and rise,
you will respond
and be unable to respond…

and grace will overtake you.

You will be stricken.
In your weakness, your brokenness,
in your utter stillness,
healing will work from within,
unseen.

You will cry out against evil,
drowned out by the great storm,
your little cup of healing too small
in the vast crowd…

and grace will overtake you.

Be not afraid.

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

June 22, 2015  Leave a comment

Peace stronger than the storm

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         

A great storm lashes this nation
while much of the people sleep,
a storm of racial hatred, a storm of fear.
In fear a white man seeks out blacks
and kills them in their church.
This is not new.
The storm will not stop,
the waves of death will not stop.
He is only one wave of the storm,
blown by great winds of fear.
It is not out of hope or happiness he kills,
he kills out of fear.
The one wave is not the problem; the storm is.
The storm envelopes us all.
It defeats us, makes us anxious.
We cry, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”

A great storm battered the disciples’ boat.
Wind, invisible and relentless,
howled down on them, pushing against them.
Waves would not stop, would not stop
bashing them, beating them,
filling the boat, threatening to swallow them.

Fear howled in them like the wind,
fear beat in them like waves,
a relentless storm of fear.
Their hearts cried, “Save us! Manage this!”
But Jesus was asleep, not worrying,
not in control. Serene. At peace.
“Jesus, join our anxiety! Won’t you despair with us?”
But Jesus was unafraid.
Maybe weary, maybe needing not to be needed,
but also unafraid. At peace.

It was not fear, but his sisters’ and brothers’ cries
that awakened him. In his deep calm he rose,
not in fear, not in anger, but in peace
and gave his peace to the others,
and gave his peace to the winds and the seas.
Infinite peace flowed through him like wind,
passed out into the world like waves,
peace stronger than the storm.
It was not fear, but peace that calmed the storm.

The Man of Peace cries out in our own souls.
Calms the storms of our fears.
Grants us peace beyond understanding.
We let it fill us, that divine peace,
deep peace with all the world,
deepest love for this world and all its children,
children with and without mercy,
peace with the world and all is raging wounds,
peace even with the storm,
for it is peace with all of life.
This peace is also agony for our sisters and brothers.
It is care that we are perishing.
But it is care, not fear. It is deep peace.

And in that peace we shall awaken.
Not fear but our sister’s and brothers’ cries awaken us.
We rise, as Christ rises, always in hope.
In deep peace, not in fear or anger,
we will rise and stand in the storm.
The winds will whip us.
He waves will batter us. But we will stand,
because Christ stands in us.
We will cry out to the storm,
and cry out to our sisters and bothers
with a peace stronger than the storm,
“Peace! Be still!”

The wind will still lash us, the waves batter.
Fear will react; anger will rise like new waves.
The wounds will retract and hide, afraid to be touched,
the wind afraid to be named.
But in the storm we shall stand in that peace that is love,
cry out with that peace that is anguish,
hold fast with that peace that is courage,
endure with that peace stronger than the storm.
And there shall be peace.

Peace. Be Still.
Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?

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

June 20, 2015  Leave a comment

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