When I am lost

Lost in a strange city,
I can’t find my place
even at my own table,
I am dreaming.
I am home.

There is a way that is looking for me.
There is a song just remembering me.
There are hands that hold me,
waiting for the time to let go.

Though I can’t see it
there is my place. I am in it.

My eyes are so closed, so closed.
My hand is always on the garden gate.
It says my name.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 30, 2021

May I sing

Holy One, envelop me,
fill me, become me.

Move in me.
Move me.

May I see as you are.
May I be as you mean.

May I reach as you touch.
May I release as you forgive.

May I sing as you joy.
May I live as you love.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 29, 2021


Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you
         I will boast of my weaknesses,
         so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
                   —2 Corinthians 12.9

In a world that worships strength and success
abandon them both.
On the days you feel weak and ineffective
remember Jesus was a flop in Nazareth.
But he stayed true.

He failed in court,
was condemned and executed,
with no flaming sword, no light saber,
no gunships.
But he stayed loving.

You are only a vessel of the miracle,
not the producer.
The glory of God, infinite love,
flows through you.
Let it.

Child of God,
that is all that is asked of you.
The rest, infinite,
is up to grace.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 28, 2021

Out of the depths (Psalm 130)

         Out of the depths I cry to you, O Holy One.
                   —Psalm 130.1

Not from gleaming heights of piety,
but darkest deeps I cry to you.

I bring you the gift of my tears,
the openness of my excuseless hands.

I offer to you the treasure of my confession,
the intricate art of my fractures.

If you judged, we would fail.
But you only bless, and forgive.

And so I wait. I sit in this darkness,
longing for your dawning in me,

longing for the dawning
that is surely coming,

that has already begun in my east,
and I watch.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 25, 2021


There are those for whom life
is little better than a frat party,
all pose and flirt and “hold my beer,”
a refined science of pretending and denying.

To stand for the truth, for that silent thing
that most kindly haunts us,
feels like leaving the party for a time out,
going into a cold, dark room alone.
How many times have we chosen
the lights over the loneliness?

Only when we put our hand on the doorknob,
only when we walk through that narrow door
do we find there

the friendship of the truth,
the real world, its warm company.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 24, 2021

I reach

         She had heard about Jesus,
         and came up behind him in the crowd
         and touched his cloak.
                   —Mark 5.27

Jesus, even without knowing,
you offered your power to her.
Without justification
you met her reach.
Without knowing why,
you enabled healing.

You do not require
explanation or deserving.
By the overflowing of your grace
you can’t judge or withhold.
You don’t even know of her
before you’ve healed her.
Such is your love.

She reached out.
And this—this—you call faith:
not the believing, but the reaching.

Jesus, I do not understand.
I do not know the outcome.
I only reach out.
I reach for the hem of your garment.

Breath prayer:
Jesus … I reach

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 23, 2021

This is not just the day after something

The first day of summer,
my calendar said,

though for some it is winter.
But that was yesterday.

This is the first day of today,
this, the first moment of now.

The migrating bird, the pulsing star
know their cycles without counting

so instead they can just dance.
Look: even now this moment

is looking at you with that look,
beckoning you out onto the floor.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 22, 2021

On vacation

         If I take the wings of the morning
                  and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
         even there your hand shall lead me,
                  and your right hand shall hold me fast.

                   —Psalm 139.9-10

Sometimes it’s actually good
to settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
where there is nothing but God’s presence.

Free of all requirements or expectations,
removed from “what we’re worth”—
there is the sacred worth of our being, apart from our doing.

Sabbath is not a prohibition— can’t do this, can’t do that—
but freedom—freedom from what’s asked of us,
freedom from being identified by what we do,
or even how we’re doing,
freedom to simply be—
and finding there God’s gracious accompaniment.
The farthest limits of the sea.

I’m going to take the wings of morning
and take a vacation from Unfolding Light for a couple weeks.

In my absence from this work we both
will find God’s presence.
Look for it.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 4, 2021


         Where can I go from your spirit?
         Or where can I flee from your presence?
                   —Psalm 139.7

Holy One,
Holy All,

you are infinite;
the universe is less; and within you.

I am in you. Where I am, there you are.
Even my deepest absence—your presence.

You are in all that I see,
all whom I meet.

Your mercy is unfolding,
your justice flowing.

I waken to your presence.
Your presence creates me.

I breathe you. I am you.
I serve you.

Breath Prayer:
Infinite … here

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 3, 2021


         “Whoever does the will of God
         is my brother and sister and mother.”
                   —Mark 3.35

In a culture where family is right up there
with God, maybe higher—
Jesus says, “Yeah, family is it.
But family isn’t blood.
It’s love.”
Without, by the way, a “father,”
an authority figure. Just God.

No more tiny family,
with my little fence around who I care for,
who I’m responsible to.
Instead you give me this infinite family.
All those who follow you differently than I do—
I belong to them. We are one.
I am to care as much about strangers as my own sister,
respect opponents no less than my own brother,
honor people so unlike me as my own mother.

And this miracle: though it seems hard
to love them all as if they are mine,
when I do—
I come home.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

June 2, 2021

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