God, you who listen 
so completely and so well,
help me listen today,
listen slowly and openly. 
Help me hear your voice in the silence, 
hear the hear the whisper of grace unfolding,                     
hear your Spirit moving in its dance                       
that does not disturb its deep silence.

Beneath the roar and chatter may I hear you. 
May I speak in a way that does not disturb my hearing.
Speak, Holy One, for your servant is listening. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

— June 13, 2019

Holy Trinity


I AM we, the Infinite,
the Immanent, the Intimate;
the Always and the Present
and the Becoming;
the Lover and the Beloved
and the Love flowing between.

We are the love speaking all out into its being,
mystery for which only gravity has words.
We are the love that knows bitter winters,
morsels shared in hungry places,
separations and disappearances,
the feel in the throat of anguish beyond crying,
the weight of flesh, the delight of flesh,
loveliness drinking your sorrow
and wearing your pain,
joy twining like morning glories
around suffering and loss.
We are the flowing breathing in you,
the becoming ourselves because of you,
creating you to fall in love with you.

We are the One Plus One equals Three,
because we count the plus.
A galaxy of sisterhood,
love-tangled bodies,
tenderness curling around each other,
mother and child issuing from myself,
me and not me and because of our love
something else, beautiful and free.

We include you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

    —June 12, 2019

The rest of what he didn’t say

What more did Jesus say
than what we have recorded?
Surely in months of speaking
there were more parables, sayings, teachings?
What more did he say?

Maybe nothing.
Maybe the truth was pure enough,
and his faith,
that he honored it
with pages and pages
of perfect silence.

The Gospels are gracious
to give us no more words,
no explanations
as if multiple words could do
for the singular Word:
only the perfect silence
in which he still sits
with us.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 11, 2019


The sound of a single chickadee.
The silence afterwards.
The taste of salt.
The incompleteness of my love
for one in whom is my twisted angel,
wrestling me toward gentleness.
Looking at a meadow
longing for my body
to become the grass.
Prayers that nearly form
then move on like clouds.

The clouds.

Everything feeds the fire
of my hunger for you.

I warm myself
by the flames.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 10, 2019

Thirty-nine years

We make our way along this way together,
our side-by-sideness a being,
so much of us in the other,
two voices in one harmony,
the going itself our path,
two ways twining, threaded in and out
of hopes and angers,
the bruise and heal become a song,
forgiveness a gravity, pains shared,
dreams carried in another’s inner pocket,
selves emerging in the mirror of the other,
giving mutual birth.
The sound of a river.
Feeling was youth’s energy,
the desert’s spring flash flood;
now deeper currents sing.
Miraculous, though not uncommon,
how marvelous a tapestry is woven of two threads.
Approaching only now the middle age
of love, so much to learn,
looking back in gratitude fades
in the brightness of what may come.
Singing softly, sharing a smile, we walk on.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 7, 2019

Nothing can separate

         Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
         nor things present, nor things to come,
         nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
         nor anything else in all creation,
         will be able to separate us
         from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                  —Romans 8.38-39

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         Not your sin, not your most horrible awfulness.
         Not your disbelief, or lack of faith.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         Not your suffering, even if it feels deserved, which it is not.
         Not your jail cell, your cancer, your failure.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         Not your anger at God when things stink.
         Not your questioning if God even exists at all.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
          Not your turning away when that love
          feels too hot, too confining, too challenging.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         Not when you feel absolutely nothing of God,
         for God is not your feelings,
         which are feeble and fickle.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         Not disaster, which is not God,
         or triumph, which is also not God.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
         You are in it like the air, like gravity.
         It is in you, for it is what you are made of.
         It’s for you. On purpose. With delight.
Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 6, 2019

Pentecost flame

         Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them,
         and a tongue rested on each of them.

                  —Acts 2.3

Not little candles,
but furious furnaces,
volcanoes of love,
burning as in you right now,
every heartbeat God’s arson of the soul,
each breath the Spirit’s inner hurricane
afire with mercy,
a dynamo powerful enough
to blow you out into the world
and do miracles.
Trust this when you feel small and fragile,
the flaming sun within.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 5, 2019

Spoken to

Walking by the sea
you listen to the language of the waves,
you wish you knew what they were saying,
their foreign tongue,
sonorous, untranslated,
the sibilants so smoothly pronounced,
their vowels so nuanced,
priestly chants, blessings, perhaps,
and for you, for you.

Standing still in woods,
the wind in trees is a different dialect,
the accents in other places,
but prayers, you are sure,
of the same liturgy,
you want to pray the prayer.

Birdsong, unexpected, on a city street,
desert quiet, deep as sleep,
the tick of a patient clock,
the beat of your heart,
a voice without language
in the swaying of subway riders,
beloved, and what they mean,
voice without words that comes
and goes like prayer, like dreams.
The voice in the pure song of silence.

Sometimes, as with a kiss,
you needn’t know the words,
only that you are being spoken to.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

    —June 4, 2019

Morning prayer

you are the breathing
that breathed in me me through the night.
You are the darkness that held me in its secrets,
the dream that whispered in my unknowing,
disappearing into me like a breath.
You are the light that prepared yourself before me,
mother’s arms that received me at my morning birth.
You are the sun that awakens me,
the dawn that rises in me, always rising.
You are the day that unfolds before me,
your becoming my welcome, your living my ground,
your grace my one hope for this day.
Morning God, the world opens its eye
and I wake to you, given, and new.
May I wake to you all this holy day
and be your light unfolding.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —June 3, 2019

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