Jesus stretched out his hand
and touched him, and said to him,
“Be made clean!”
Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
—Mark 1.41-42

You know what it is to feel dirty.
Not just having erred,
but being smeared,

a shame that lingers,
sticks and stinks,
stained as an ill-scrubbed pot,

the feeling you may be excused
but never adored,
allowed but not admired.

Until the Beloved touches you:
no mere glancing touch
but a stretching out, a desire for you,

embracing your stain,
enfolding you in glory
so you shine.

You shine,
a polished mirror
in whom God sees delight.

Was this a miracle,
or maybe did the dirt
never exist at all?

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 9, 2021

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