More beatitudes

Blessed are they who are heartbroken,
         for it is they who know joy.

Blessed are they who are silenced,
         for God is among them.

Blessed are they who stand alone,
          for they are not alone.

Blessed are the queer,
         for theirs is the image of God.

Blessed are they who listen,
          for they shall hear God.

Blessed are they who love without judging,
          for they are children of God.

Blessed are the truth-tellers,
         for their voices shall ring out forever.

Blessed are they who long for justice and cry out,
         for they shall prevail until the end of time.

Blessed are you when people revile you
         and persecute you and say
         all manner of evil against you,
for so people project their inner demons
          on all who are vulnerable.
Do not return their hatred,
         but meet them with love,
         for love alone changes the world.

At the foot of the cross

Crucified and risen Christ,
with those who are silenced you stand,
         the cry of your silence going out into the world,
                  in your silence the heart of God breaking.

With those who are reviled you stand,
         without shame, only mercy,
                  for those who receive the wounds of Christ.

With those put outside the gate you stand,
         your exiled love replacing the wall,
                  in your outspread arms heaven unfolding.

With those beaten by words and deeds you stand,
         their tears your your tears, your word,
                  “Today you are with me in paradise.”

With those who do not know what to do but weep you stand,
                  rising in glory.

People of the crucified and risen Christ,
at the foot of the cross,
         witness the blood of the Lamb;
                  bear witness to love.

The eyes of our one belovedness

         The Spirit bears witness with our spirit
         that we are children of God.

                  —Romans 8.16

Loving One, I am your child.
Everyone else is also your child.
Your one Spirit lives in each and all of us.
If I am yours, I am theirs.

Help me trust with confidence
your love, your delight in me,
and your delight in all your children.
You are in me; you are in them.

Help me see with love and humility
your presence in others:
no matter how different or troubling,
they too are your beloved, and mine.

They are my sisters and brothers,
born of the same holy womb.
In you our Spirit flows in many bodies,
one Spirit, one life. We are one.

Help me today to see you in all people,
to see with the eyes of the Spirit,
with the eyes of our one belovedness,
each person my dear one.

First green

Trees not yet leafed out,
the woods aren’t green,
just tiny flakes of green

in their childish little hands,
soft and small.
Something larger than them

from deep down stirs,
exceeds itself in them.
Among those who dare

a new thing
God grant me
such ancient courage.

Hearing them

Usually the trees in the woods are pretty silent,
maybe some whispering,
murmuring among themselves. You know,
tree stuff.

Sometimes they intone elegant, lofty things,
“Life.” Or, “Patience.”
The Word.

Today, their hands beseeching, they blurted out,
“We need you.”

I’m a foreigner here, I thought, a trespasser.
“We need you.”

Coming home, all the cars on the road,
and the folks in them, driven,
their speeding was pleading, “We need you.”

The houses, the newspapers on porches,
the people trapped in the newspapers
cried out, “We need you.”

In my window seat I pray
for that inner pentecost
when what is impossible
falls upon me, flows through me,
through all of us,
like fire.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Pentecost prayer

Holy Spirit,
River of love, divine delight,
flow through me.                   
Flame of sun, burn in me.
Wind of heaven, breathe in me.
Tongues of strangers, speak in me.
Love of God, sing in me.

Lead me beyond myself,
to return to you in the other,
to love you in my stranger,
my foreigner, my enemy.

Burn with your fire in me,
that it may be mine.
Breathe yourself into my life,
that it may be yours.
I am your song, and your singing.
I am your candle; you are my flame.

Holy Spirit,
love the world
in me.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

New moment

There are times when I need to rest,
a sabbath of dullness,

because the rest of the time
I am walking around behind God,

even the stirred dust sparkling,
even the shadows gleaming,

God every instant saying
“Let there be light.

Let there be stone. This stone,
and this light laying on the stone.

Let there be this tree, this branch,
and each of these birds singing in it.

Let there be this bee, let there be its labor,
and the wonder of its coming and going.

Let there be this river, and its waters,
its springs and tributaries, and their flowing.

Let there be this person.
Let there be this hope unfolding in this heart.

Let there be this moment.
Yes! And now this one!”

It never stops.
It never stops.

Eyes of My Heart

         …with the eyes of your heart enlightened…
                  —Ephesians 1.18

Spirit of Mercy, Beauty of Life,
enlighten the eyes of my heart.

Awaken me to your light,
to see with grace and to shine with grace,

to see with gratitude the beauty that unfolds,
to see with trust your immense love for me,

to see with hope the hope that rises,
to see with humility the mercy that rains,

to see fearlessly your suffering in this world,
and the power of your redemption,

to see all people as my kin,
all living beings as my flesh,

to see with love,
to see all people with love,

to see heaven emerging in each moment,
to see you, in peace, before me.

May I see, and others see,
by the light in my eyes,

the light of your peace
in the eyes of my heart,

the look of your compassion,
your delight in the eyes of my heart.

Awaken me to this day,
the eyes of my heart enlightened.

Yom Hashoah

                                 Holocaust Remembrance Day

God of love, expose to me the evils I condone
for the sake of my ease and privilege.

Awaken me to the suffering of others
and my dismissal of it.

Heal me of the disease of my racism and sexism,
my phobias and self-protectiveness and denial.

Bring me to awareness and repentance;
daily change my heart from fear to love.

Give me courage to speak out
for those who are blamed, judged or excluded.

Give me love to know them,
to receive from them, to stand with them,
until they are not them but us.

Do not let me be silent before injustice
or safe in the presence of hatred.

Jew and Muslim, Native, queer and black,
poor and imprisoned and foreigner—
either I belong to them and with them
or I am not human.

Let my love be true, my repentance unending,
my heart be broken, my rage be deep;
let my voice be clear, and my courage strong.

God of love, in the darkness may I be light;
in the shouting may I be a song of justice.


He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
         Two beings in white robes stood by them and said,
         “Why do you stand looking up toward heaven?”

                  —Acts 1.9-11

Because we are sad.
Because with all those who cry to the sky
we are bewildered, and yearning.

We gaze
because something so dear and fine has left us.
We crane our necks—don’t we always?—
toward the face turning at the gate,
the bus rounding the corner.
We hold the rose before we put it in.
We watch the emptiness
where our beloved was
and we can’t take our eyes off it.

We’re not yet ready
to remember what we’ve learned.
But there is guidance in our longing.
This sadness is some of the miracle
that will raise us,
the loss that opens something,
the sorrow of what is taken
where we find what is not taken.

We are looking up
so you can find us,
the angels of absence,
to walk us through this new land
until we can come and go with grace.

                  —May 4, 2016

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