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

September 23, 2021

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