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Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
I’m home. I’ve just returned from three weeks in Norway with Beth and our son Jonathan (the trip was a Christmas present from Jonathan.) There was much that felt unfamiliar and much that felt like home. (Especially the mountains, for this Montana boy.) Among our many adventures there, we went to a “town” (a farm, really) called Garnaas, where part of my name comes from. Beth’s grandfather came from there to America in 1877. There we met Beth’s fourth cousin, a Svenkerud. The farther back in your family tree you go the more names you include. And we met his daughter, Jonathan’s fifth cousin, pregnant with Tanner’s sixth cousin. The farther down the tree you come, the more relatives you have.

I thought about how Vikings came to Britain, where most of my ancestors were, and how Scots came to Norway in medieval times, and wondered how much Norwegian blood I have, how much British blood Beth has. Tracing her DNA back 40,000 years, you’ll find that “her people” came from central Asia and eventually migrated through northern Africa to Scandinavia. If you go back far enough we’re all related.

But you don’t have to “go back.” We’re all related. We’re all one. We all come from the same love, that has found six billion kinds of beauty. We all come from the same breath, that speaks a million different languages. We are all migrants in this world, come from God and going to God. We’re all home. We’re all one. Wherever you are, whoever you are with, welcome home to your family.

         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

August 18, 2014  Leave a comment

Vacation

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
                  
Today I am leaving for a three week vacation. Amazingly, the world will carry on without me. You will be fine without me. The sun will burn, the tides will rise and fall, children will grow, the nations will rage, without me. I will not lift a finger.

But here’s the mystery. Though I will not be there, the fate of my friends, the blessing of my community, the ministry of the church I serve, the well-being of the trees where I have walked every morning and even the orbit of the moon will all depend on me. They would all be changed if I were not to be. It’s not that by my effort I sustain them, but that I am created as a part of their whole. It is not my doing but my being that blesses all creation. Even while I’m on vacation.

And the same is true of you. Your very being is a blessing for this world, though the world will not know it. Your particular presence—not your skill or effort, but your soul—is essential to the world as God desires it.

The flower in the field, the mountain on the horizon give you a gift simply by being there. God looks at you, and is delighted. Even when, like the beautiful child you are, you are asleep. Enter that sabbath place where your being, and everything’s, is all there is.

___________________________
Weather Report

A day of belonging
as the universe enfolds you;
a low-pressure area of
merely being created
will push aside a high pressure region
with its hailstorm of accomplishments,
leaving light, such light
that emanates from within.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 22, 2014  Leave a comment

It’s perfect

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
The Beloved has stolen your soul
and run off with her—
how audacious, how unfair!—
and married her in secret,
without your permission,
without your even knowing.

And what does God give you
as a wedding present?

Yourself.

It fits.
Put it on and wear it.
It’s beautiful.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 21, 2014  Leave a comment

No harm

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

I do my best to walk in peaceful calm,
and I have vowed to do no harm, no harm.
But living with these shadows in this world,
the wail of trampled voices, cries of blood,
the suffering imposed by greed and fear,
at times down in the heavy depths there burns
a weight, there seethes a flame, there stirs and heaves
a great dark rage that I can’t bear alone,

and so I hand the red hot iron to Christ,
who with insistent, mighty, ringing blows
beats it on his anvil, throwing sparks.

And I have vowed to do no harm, no harm,
though much may be upturned by such a plow.

Deep Blessings
Pastor Steve
______________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com.

July 18, 2014  Leave a comment

No country

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
                  

We love to pretend we’re Big People
who have managed well our fate.
But we are weak, frightened children,
saved by unearned generosity
or not saved at all.

Fearful of our tenderness,
believing most deeply in our on-our-own-ness,
we lash out against our shadows
stumbling across our border, our little ones
running for their lives.

They ought to master their destiny like us.
They ought to be abandoned like us.
This is no country for the meek,
the small,
the saved.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 17, 2014  Leave a comment

Weeds among the wheat

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
                  
You think you know the sprouts
in the garden of your life:
which are the heirloom vegetables
and which the cursed weeds.

You tromp through,
plucking all sorts of green things
from the seedbed of certainty.

I have seen impatient people
yank the loveliest of herbs
because they thought they knew.

But you don’t know.
You don’t know what nameless weeds
will bless and blossom,
bear unimagined fruit,
even among their thorns,
in a harvest beyond your reckoning.

You do not know whose weedy life
is, in the other world,
burgeoning with God’s glory.

Do not judge.
You are not the Gardener.
The fruits of heaven grow
on the shabbiest stalks.
Only later will you see the work
of the One Who Sows,
the One Who Gathers.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 16, 2014  Leave a comment

I’m a fool

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

I’m a fool for the moon,
can’t keep myself
from rushing to the window.
I’m a patsy for wild geese flying,
stop and stare like it’s the popemobile.
I’m a pushover for little glints of sun,
slips of children’s songs, chocolate,
deep blue green, lichen.
What is it about lichen, anyway,
that gets me so?
Don’t know. I’m a fool,
and I don’t mind
being flat on my face a lot,
weak-kneed before the world
pretty much all the time.
And the greatest wonder of all,
most deeply bewildering?
The Glorious One,
on scabbed knees, the fool,
staring wildly at me.

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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 15, 2014  Leave a comment

Eyes open

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

        Open my inner eye to see your presence.

Thinking him to be the gardener, she asked,
“Where have you taken him?”

         Help me see you in all people.

Jesus stood on the beach, but they did not know it was Jesus.

        Help me trust in your presence,
        even when I do not feel it.

Truly, God was in this place and I,
I did not know it.

        You have walked with me
        even when I did not know it.
        Grant me gratitude and trust.
        May I wonder at your presence
        and walk in 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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 14, 2014  Leave a comment

According to your steadfast love

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
         Do not remember the sins of my youth
                  or my transgressions;
         according to your steadfast love
                  remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

                         —Psalm 25.7

God does not see you according to your performance,
         according to how well you’ve done.
God sees you with pure love,
         with perfect compassion.

Throw away the dirty rags of your sin.
         Dry the tears of your shame.
There is only delight.
         There is only blessing.

Behold that love.
         Receive that compassion.
Rest in that embrace.
         Let it become 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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 11, 2014  Leave a comment

Life in the Spirit

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         
       The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
       has set you free from the law of sin and of death….
       God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do….
       The just requirement of the law is fulfilled in us,
       who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

                  —from Romans 8.2-4

God’s law is not a set of demands.
Demands could never make us love.
Concern about our righteousness
only makes us more self-centered.
God’s law is love, which lives in us,
and so makes us the fulfillment of God’s love.
We are free from “having to” do anything
to be fully, deeply loved and connected.

So we walk in that Love, that Spirit.
We let go of our anxieties
about the survival of our isolated self,
and let ourselves be included
in the infinite Life of God.

We rest in God’s love.
We let it transform us breath by breath.
We behold that love for and in everyone.
We let that love guide us.
We live in the Spirit.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

July 10, 2014  Leave a comment

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