Afraid to ask

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         He was teaching his disciples, saying to them,
         “The Human One is to be betrayed into human hands,
         and killed, and three days after being killed,
         be raised again.”
         But they did not understand what he was saying
         and were afraid to ask him.

                  —Mark 9.31-32

God says, “I will die for you”
and we think, ”How sweet.”
God says, “You will murder me.”
We check our phones.

Jesus opens up the great hole in us—
our fear of loss, our doubt of our worth,
our unbelief in our sin
or in God’s outlandish self-giving—
and pours himself in.
He shows us the grave, gaping, open, empty,
but it’s a little beyond us. We’re afraid to ask.

He shows us where to find the Beloved,
among the betrayed, here in the knot of our blame,
but we don’t want to know. Every time.

Come close, look in his hands: he holds
the knotted tangle, the clotted heart and its miracle,
the throbbing wound with light in it.
The key that uncages. Our secret wings.
Come with him to the abyss, the luminous lip,
where we pull back.
A white bird flies over our heads,
out over the edge, and far beyond.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at)

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