Halloween

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
         
All Hallowed Eve:
before All Saints Day comes,
before we recognize the holy among us,
in the dark before I myself am taken up in glory,
I have permission to dress up in my deepest fear,
my greatest hope, my truest self.
I am a dragon, a dead man, a princess.
But of course beneath the costume I am actually
a king, a zombie, a magician,
an alien, a prostitute,
a child.

This one night, this Hallowed Evening,
we all are evened out:
everybody’s a true soul wrapped up in illusions,
disguised in fears and fantasies—
we’re all beauty queens and monsters—
and for once everybody knows it
and we’re OK with that,
because we know within we’re humans all alike.

This is so we know that on all other days
all who come to us and we as well
can be ourselves
and be accepted at stranger’s doors
and be given delights.

         
         
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

But woe to you

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
         “But woe to you who are rich,
                  for you have received your consolation.”

                             —Luke 6.24

Thus says the Lord, who created you,
          who set you free from slavery:
With your hands
          you have received my blessings,
while with your hearts
          you have turned away.
I gave you bread and you became fat;
          I gave you wine and you got drunk.
You did not give thanks in generosity;
          you did not share, but clung.
You used your riches to rob the poor
          and your power to exploit the powerless.
Therefore for your evil I will punish you
          and my wrath shall fall upon you.

I will send upon you a plague of plenty,
          a pestilence of possessions
that will spawn worry and grasping among you,
          and a famine of gratitude.
I will curse you with comfort and familiarity
          so that you are starved for wonder,
and lay upon you a yoke of power and control
          that will rob you of trust.
I will punish you with abundant processed things
          and curse you with plenteous artificial things
so that you forget the earth
          and the joy of knowing living beings.
I will inflict upon you good skin
          so that you will look no further.

I will utterly cut you off from your sisters and brothers
          with your fear of their suffering,
          until you confuse terror with security.
I will send you into lonely exile
          in malls and cul-de-sacs.
I will curse you with too many things to do
          so that you are swallowed up in frenzy.
I will haunt you with diversity that makes you uneasy
          and mysteries that you fear.
I will entangle you in the snares of ease and safety
          so that you are unacquainted with death
          and terrified of that which is strange.
I will imprison you behind the wall of your violence
          and cast you into the fire of riches,
and the flames will burn you from inside
          and you will not know why.

My people, in love I have given you everything;
          in tender faithfulness I have died for you.
But now I will curse you with your desires
          until they enslave you,
and punish you with everything you want
          until it smothers you
          and every difficulty confuses you.
Then you will cry out to me, and I will answer
          you will turn to me, and I will be there.
In your letting go will you be free,
          in your poverty will you be blessed:
for all that you have will be me,
          and I will have you, in glory and joy—
says the Lord your God, who loves you,
          the Holy One who desires you.

         
         
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

No meaning

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

In the deep forest the silence grows up in you,
its roots tangling down in your darkness.

You look into the eyes of the wild goose,
who looks at you. Something touches.

I remember standing in the desert a long time.
I don’t remember what I was thinking, but I remember.

At the far end of the pond swimming at the bottom
you’re not so sure of the skin between you and the other water.

In your prayers nothing happens, there is no errand,
no meaning to holding hands like that.

The river that has been in many places enters the sea.
You walk out of the water, wet with many worlds.

         
         
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

Underneath my song

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
                  
Underneath the noise of the city
and its traffic, the voice of its need,
the sound of its striving,
is my singing.

Underneath my song
is my breath
and the singing of birds,
the hum of the forest,
the vast applause of the sea.

Underneath that
is the Great Silence,
speaking us forth,
holding us until we are ready
to return.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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

Psalm 65

         
         
         

O Beloved, our hearts sing out to you!
         May our lives be your praise.
O you who answer prayer,
         to you all living beings come.

When our sins overwhelm us,
         you forgive us so tenderly.
O you who answer prayer,
         to you all living beings come.

What a blessing, that you invite us
         to live here in your house.
O you who answer prayer,
         to you all living beings come.

Your presence is our deepest joy,
         your goodness in this world,
         this present moment.
O you who answer prayer,
         to you all living beings come.

The beauty of this world
         is your presence overflowing.
The river of God is full of water.
         The river of God is full of water.
O you who answer prayer,
         to you all living beings come.

                  —Psalm 65.1-4, 9
         
         

__________________
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

It’s in you

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
         
I cut myself
a little stripe,
a single lash.

I wondered
at the gap,
the opening of myself.

Then over time
my skin returned,
cheek to cheek,

since after all
both sides are
the same flesh.

Somehow
it knew how to sew
how to weave

how to wrap itself
around the emptiness,
how to heal.

This wisdom is in you.
An amazing gift, no?
It’s in there.

         
         
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

You are a bell

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

You are a bell
that rings
in another world.

You are a flower
that blooms
only when you are asleep.

Your soul is a bird that flies away
and in your grief you cannot see
how God delights in its return.

         
         
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

The Beloved says I want you

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

        
        The Beloved says:

You are no lowly sinner, and no great saint.
Confess: you don’t even know the difference.

        I don’t care. I only want you.

Your prayers are ordinary and distracted,
neither base nor lofty, and more for you than for me.

        I don’t care. I like the sound of your voice.

Your desire for me is weak and impure,
but it is the heat of my lips upon your heart.
Your keening for me is the very song I sang you;
your love is mine, not yours, not yours at all.

        But I don’t care. I only want you to return,
        my heart in yours, my body burning inside yours.
        I want you to take off your price tag and be mine.

Let this mountain rise in you, a thousand angels singing;
this bright sun burn within you, burn away your paper prayers,
until your shadow disappears and you are light, my light.

        Forget yourself. I want you.

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.

Something more

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

Walking among trees being stripped,
the graveyard of colors at my feet,

branches above slowly being robbed,
air chilling, reaching farther into me,

I can’t shake the gentle dread
that something more will be required,

something taken, or outgrown,
requiring a reckoning of grief,

no loss God wants to save me from,
no turning that I want to miss,

a coming free that will not feel like such,
a birth resembling autumn’s lovely death.

I know no other passage through these woods.
The small path reaches out to me.

I feel my breathing, steady, slow and small.
The forest turns around me as I go.

Mist rises from the farm field to the west,
that slowly fills with yellow morning light.

         
         
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

I am the darkness

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

        

When you close your eyes you see Me.
I am the darkness in your eyes
into which the light pours to make sight.

I am the silence in which you hear all things.
I am the emptiness that creates your breath
when you are sleeping.

I am the urge, the dark arising, the lack
that becomes you in the burning day,
the anguish calmed by your prefect flesh.

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.