The tax collector, standing far off,
         would not even look up to heaven,
         but was beating his breast and saying,
         “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

                           —Luke 18.13

The knifest wound,
the weightest load,
the nightest dark
we haul around in us
is our shame,
the awfullest place in us,
the unmost part of us,
our deepest subtraction.

Ashamed before God,
unable to be a being
worthy of God’s shine and delight,
a little part of us

Dare to bring that parenthesis
out of your secrets,
open this grave,
step out of your hidden terror,
shed even the invisible costumes
only you know you wear.
Stand nude before God,

and listen and hear:

Yes, my Beloved. Yes.
Yes to you, all of you.
Every beauty of you
and every bruise.
You are not my Apology.
You are my Beloved.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 25, 2019

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