Confession

On my knees, earnestly confessing…
it seems I lost my train of thought
and then I realize: no,
it was stolen—not by the devil
but by the Beloved, who runs off,
laughing.

I return to my confession but I am
interrupted by a bird on the windowsill,
singing beautifully to me. To me.

In the tight fist of my confession
I glimpse the secret: not shame
but a great loneliness.
I dare not open its hand.

But it opens.

Sometimes I feel I am winding sheets,
grave clothes tangling the Lazarus inside me,
trying to keep him down,
but he hears,
he hears
and he rises.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 30, 2021

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Categorized as Reflections

As a child

         Truly I tell you, whoever does not
         receive the realm of God as a little child
         will never enter it.
                   —Mark 10.15

Dependent,
       requiring the help of others.

Weak,
       without ability to make it happen.

Graced,
       without having earned it, receiving it as pure gift.

Wondering,
       not understanding, only delighting.

Imaginative,
       living not in a proposition but a story.

Needy,
       seeking not to be right but to be loved.

Humble,
       knowing you are not an only child.

Playful,
       for not everything is So Serious.

Trusting,
       willing to hand yourself over.

Vulnerable,
       without power, status, standing, voice or recourse.

Hear it: vulnerable,
       at risk, and likely the first to suffer.

Cherished,
       as the beloved child of a parent
       who would, and will, die for you.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 29, 2021

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You are a family

Your children have many moods. Let them.
Let the playful one play with abandon.
Let the earnest one read the book.
Let the weeping one cry freely.
Hold the frightened one in your lap.
Give space for the one who is flying or dancing
or battling dragons or maybe just moving
to move without getting hurt.
They all belong. They are all beautiful.
Gather them to the table and eat together.
Bless them all. They all enrich your wisdom.
Do not forget or abandon any of them.
When you go out into the world
be sure to have listened to them all.
It is to such as these that the Realm of God belongs.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 28, 2021

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Stop squirming

God, I know you love me.
But secretly I believe you are waiting to love me
till I am more worthy.
       No, I am not waiting.
       Your worthiness is that you are mine.
       That is all. I love you.


Well, I wait, wait for that feeling.
       And I am the waiting itself,
       the longing that lives so steadfastly in you.


That is only a pleasant illusion.
I am alone on a solitary road.
       And I am the road.


Then where I am has no road.
I am in an empty, barren desert.
       And I am the desert, and its barrenness.


Then I am in outer space,
where there is no ground at all.
       I am space. I am Being.
       Stop squirming and let me hold you.


I might as well.
       Yes, I would love that.

______________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 27, 2021

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Salted with fire

         Everyone will be salted with fire.
                   —Mark 9.49

Spiced up with passion.

Preserved in light.

Purified by suffering.

Beautified by divine warmth.

Refined through pain.

Kept in pure being.

Seasoned by becoming energy.

Enlivened by Spirit.

Salted with fire.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 24, 2021

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Cut it off

         If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off;
         it is better for you to enter life maimed
         than to have two hands and to go to hell,
         to the unquenchable fire.
                   —Mark 9.45

The hand that causes you to stumble
is not at the end of your arm. It’s deeper than that.

What is the hand in you
that reaches for what is not yours? Cut it off.
There is nothing you need to grasp.

What is the eye in you that does not look with love?
Pluck it out. The eyes of love are good enough.

What are the feet in you that that won’t trust,
that lead you away from the path of love?
Cut them off. You don’t need to go there.

Does it sound harsh? Don’t worry,
they’re not part of the real you.
Besides, they’ll grow back.

The Teacher is not asking you to maim yourself.
He is inviting you to name what interferes,
and to take away its power.
He’s leading us out of the unquenchable fire
of our fears, desires and attachments.

Without our grasping, fearful, compulsive parts,
perhaps then we will rely more
on the eyes and hands and feet of Jesus.

This pruning is how we become whole. 

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 23, 2021

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Autumn

Autumn comes with a little woven basket
for gathering, harvesting.
She looks at the garden, and you.

A time of plucking,
of saying “Good enough.”
Greater dreams go to the compost pile.

Laying out the fruits, admiring,
thanking, forgiving, noticing
what thrived or didn’t.

Colors deepen,
textures grow small, grasslike.
What is fragile looks boldest in its dying.

Shadows come out of their hiding.
Footfalls rustle.
Chill knocks, and enters.

A time of cherishing, and laying to rest.
Held by a deeper turning, remembering
the seeds we save.

In every space now a grave silence opens,
and singing, grateful,
balanced on this moment.


On the first day of spring
this is what you remember.
Letting go, you dive in.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 22, 2021

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Drink from their cup

         Whoever is not against us is for us.
                   —Mark 9.40


Those who seek truth
gather toward it,
and so approach one another.
Languages and religions, these do not matter!

God grant me humility
to sojourn with all the pilgrims
on the Way with me,
to drink from their cup,
to learn from their learning,
to help each other wander.

Even my enemy is a good teacher
if every moment
I am ready to learn.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 21, 2021

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Prayer, and fixing things

         The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
                   —James 5.16

God is not a fix-it man.
God is not a guy
who (sometimes) does what we ask
(though clearly not always).
God is love. Love is the only power God has.
Love doesn’t fix things.
Love liberates, blesses, connects, accompanies.
Love sees, honors, and gives itself—gives the giver—
to the beloved.
But love doesn’t solve problems, get jobs, end wars,
cure cancer, or rescue people from danger.

Praying isn’t asking for stuff, even very good stuff.
It’s paying attention to God.
We hold our hopes, fears and desires
in the light of God’s love, so, yes, we say what we want.
But we listen more deeply to what we really want,
and what we want more than that.
And mostly we listen for what God wants—
what God is already doing,
here even in our unmet needs, our “unanswered” prayers.

Love is an energy like electricity, a force field like gravity.
When we give ourselves to God
we tune ourselves to love,
we harmonize with the oneness of all things
(we are one in the Spirit),
we add our love to God’s.
We increase the power of love in the world.
That doesn’t fix things. But it changes them.

The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective
because it puts us in tune with love,
so miracles can happen, even if just in us.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 20, 2021

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Sweet nothings

When we listen for the voice of God
we don’t usually hear big revelations
or great pronouncements.
We hear God’s patter,
divine murmurings
as God goes about the house—
like, “Well, look at that,”
or “I see you.”
A mother murmuring to her infant,
small talk, terms of endearment,
sweet nothings.

Listen for that.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

September 17, 2021

Published
Categorized as Reflections