Wings of eagles

Those who wait for the Holy One shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
—Isaiah 40.31

You who stagger, who are weary,
who bend under the weight, unable;
you who despair,
who tread a path of duty but not hope;
you who put your head down and go
and don’t let up for fear you’ll quit forever—

you can stop. Rest.
For indeed: this job, you cannot do.
This weight, you can’t carry.
This journey, you can’t finish.
Not alone. Give it up.

Breathe in and out.
The breath is not yours. It’s a gift.
In your weakness lighten your load.
Set it all down.

Now, know this: it is God, not you
who lifts you up on eagles’ wings,
who is your strength and your courage,
your vision, your hope and your joy.

Give up trying to fly.
Let the Mighty One lift you up.
What God wants to do in you
God will do, and let go the rest.
Let God’s hope be yours.
Let the Creator be your energy,
the love of God your sustenance,
the Spirit your stamina.

God will rise up,
and you, beloved siblings,
will rise on God’s wings,
run on Christ’s feet.
God breathes in you.
With that breath,
that breath,
rise, and go on.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 11, 2021

Categorized as Reflections


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

Categorized as Reflections


             …exercise self-control…
—1 Corinthians 9.25

If I ever have another dog
I will name it Ego.

Keep it on a short leash.
Teach it to sit. Stay.

Not to bark at strangers,
chase every squirrel.

Train it to obey, not react,
out of loyalty, not hunger,

how not to jump in the fray,
add to the noise.

Not to mirror another’s energy,
but hold its own.

Teach it the patient wait,
the watching eye,

to be the gentle guide,
not the leash-jerker.

Well, I’ll not have another dog,
but I do have a critter within,

that I’m learning to teach.
Good boy. Good boy.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 10, 2021

Categorized as Reflections


       A leper came to him begging him,
        and kneeling he said to him,
        “If you choose, you can make me clean.”
        Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand
        and touched him, and said to him,
        “I do choose. Be made clean!”

                                — Mark 1.40-41

God, there is much in me that needs healing.
But sometimes I can’t bring myself to choose
to be changed.
Please, O Healing One, choose for me.
You have the power I don’t have
to make me whole, and to choose it.
Heal my body; heal my soul; heal my will;
make me able to choose.
For this I trust: that you do choose
my blessing, my belovedness, my life.
You do choose, and you make me whole.
In trust and gratitude I offer myself to you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 8, 2021

Go on

         When they found him, they said to him,
          “Everyone is searching for you.”
          He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns,
          so that I may proclaim the message there also;
          for that is what I came out to do.”
                                                  —Mark 10.37-38

Rest is good, and rootedness is a blessing.
But beware the grasping nest.
Beware of the familiar, the comfortable, the trap.

Follow him. Go on.
Perhaps to other towns and villages,
or rooted in one faithful place,

but beyond your comfort,
past that familiar wall,
the frontier at an edge of an unknown,

further into another’s heart
or within.
The place where you don’t know what to do.

Serve beyond your security. 
Dare to be alien, a beginner.
Have to trust.

Even in the world unknown
you are known.
Even afar, you are at home.

So go.
You are not alone,
you are following.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 5, 2021

Deserted place

In the morning, while it was still very dark,
he got up and went out to a deserted place,
and there he prayed. 
And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 
—Mark 1.35-36

Go there.
Place of quiet darkness.

Sacred hiddenness.
Where you will be unfound.

Solely soul.
Simply flesh.

Be wide open as the deserted sky
Disappear in the blackness.

Let your self be there.
There, let your self be.

Let your self be found
by the One

waiting for you
to come

into the silence,

of God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 4, 2021

A healing

He came and took her by the hand
and lifted her up.
Then the fever left her,
and she began to serve them.
—Mark 1.31

What is not well in you?
What hurts?
What is weak?

There is a presence there,
not a What: a Who,
with wisdom and gifts.

The Beloved has heard.
Knows what ails. 
Comes to you. 

Reaches out to the spirit
within your affliction.
Touches her.

Takes your broken hand.
Raises you up,
whole in your weakness.

In your brokenness you rise,
graced, your gifts set free,
and serve. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 3, 2021

God the laborer

Praise the Holy One, who is gracious,
who builds up the city,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel.
who heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds,
who gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
—Psalm 147.1-3, 9

Praise God the construction worker,
who builds up the city.
Praise God the social worker,
who heals the brokenhearted.
Praise God the nurse,
who binds up our wounds.
Praise God the migrant farm worker
who gives us our food,
the grocery worker,
who fills our table with goodness.
Praise the Holy One, the essential worker,
who is gracious!
Praise your God, O people!
Give thanks and praise!

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 2, 2021

Butterfly effect

I write these words
they come from somewhere
they go out I don’t know where

you read them
and they go in
you don’t know where

and they nudge some others
and they go out
you don’t know where

it’s happening a billion places
all the time endlessly
changing the world we don’t know how

the little bit of water in the stream
nudges the next and the next
and the ocean is filled

the little bits
you nudge along

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

February 1, 2021

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