Brother Steve

Since I wrote last two weeks ago a lot has changed.
I’ve retired from the ministry and moved to Maine.
New place, new life, new title.
For eighteen years I’ve been signing these pieces “Pastor Steve.”
For forty years I’ve known myself that way.
But now I’m not a pastor any more. Just a person.
I’m still a minister of the Gospel, like every baptized Christian,
but not appointed to shepherd a flock.
Now I have to find who I am other than “Pastor” Steve.
I thought about signing “Brother Steve.”
I like the monastic sound, the communitarianism, the intimacy.
But still it has a “sound.” Gives a slant. Sets me apart.
Well, I’m a person, not a role. Just one of us. Just me.
Just Steve.

This is always life’s challenge, to become, not to accomplish.
To dwell in our being, beneath and beyond all doing.
I am no different from a monk or a prisoner in their cell,
a great leader at her podium
or an Alzheimer’s patient in a locked ward:
just a beloved of God, living this moment,
bearing the glory of God in my own way.
Find that glory within, and live it out,
free of what anyone thinks or knows of you,
even yourself.
Find the self beneath your name,
God’s secret name for you,
which no one can say like God does:
That is enough.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

July 6, 2020

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