Kingdom

           “My kingdom is not from this world.”
                           —John 18.36

No, I am not the mayor of your little village.
I am not the king of some little nation.

I am love,
in whose service beauty blossoms,

for whose delight the seasons turn,
for whose glory the galaxies dance.

I am the sovereign of your soul, and the whole
human family from beginning to end.

I am the Rule of your heart—though it defy me—
and every human longing.

I am the will to wholeness
that revolts against your greed.

The ache you feel is that you face elsewhere
as your own gravity bows to me.

You will not be One until the rest of you
falls like grains of sand to join the heart, torn,

that already kneels.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Postcard from God

Beloved,
Some folks are discouraged about the world
but I see you. Your little flame of love,
the light in your heart that has not gone out,
even your desire for hope is a spark
that gives me hope. Even if night
were to consume the world in its fire and ash,
seeing you would still give me delight,
even to the end. Stay there for me, will you?
Thanks.

Love,
God

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Birthpangs

          Not one stone will be left upon another;
          all will be thrown down
.
          Many will say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.
          You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,
          and nation will rise against nation…
          This is but the beginning of the birthpangs.

                                   —from Mark 13.1-8

When dread for the world comes over me,
when Jesus’ end-times nightmares
sound more familiar than strange,
I recall he says these things
facing his crucifixion,
recorded by his followers
reeling at the destruction of the temple.
He is not foretelling the future:
he’s saying what he sees. It’s what I see.
Things will get worse. Worlds may end.
But this is not the final act:
this agony is our birth canal,
as we are torn from what we have known,
not to an end, but to a new beginning.
The world becomes something more.
Bereft of all but our umbilical love and courage
we trust not in some surprise that comes later
but in a mystery that is greater than we can see,
a deep life that enfolds us and unfolds with us.
Love is the womb and love the breast,
and love is the everlasting arms.
Our becoming will come with great loss
but it is not unbecoming of us who are,
after all, creatures of light.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Veterans Day

God bless the Veterans who served in the military
     in wars and other dangerous settings,
     who placed their bodies on the line for the sake of life.
God bless the veterans of the peace movement
     who served in protests and other dangerous settings,
     who put their bodies on the line for the sake of life.
God bless the veterans of the Civil Rights movement,
     who served in protests and other dangerous settings,
     who put their bodies on the line for the sake of life.
God bless the health care workers
     who serve in Covid wards and other dangerous settings,
     who put their bodies on the line for the sake of life.
God bless us, and give us courage to serve
     to heal the earth, to bring peace, to fight racism,
     to put our bodies on the line for the sake of life.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

What if you lost the book

What if you lost the book
about who you are?
What if you lost the script
that tells you what to say
to play your part in other people’s drama?
What if you lost the map of the complicated route
to some Place you’re supposed to be
that you’re not?
What if you lost the radio signal
telling you and telling you and telling you?
What if in the silence
you looked up from the blank page
and discovered this place, green and thriving,
spreading out from you into the world?
What if the best you could do—the very best thing—
is to feel your way along,
to keep your eyes on the road,
to keen your ears to the voice within
that already knows who you are?
Without the book—
finally, a true story.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Autumn contemplation

I am one of these leaves,
falling.

I am one of these trees, letting go
of what once gave life, but now doesn’t.

I am one of these migrating birds,
led great distances to the unseen.

I am one of these wildflowers,
scattering seeds before I die.

I am the little stream
that receives and gives.

I stand in this meadow
dying, becoming new.

__________________
Weather Report

Unceasing,
as momentary patterns
shift, repeat and vary.
Expect the cycle to continue,
with singing in the upper latitudes,
long beyond your dying.
Cooler tonight.

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

God prays

My child,
Thank you for being you.
I created you for someone to be in love with—
and here you are.
I know sometimes you feel brilliant
and sometimes a total failure,
but you are lovely, and sacred,
and the light of my delight burns in you
no matter what.
Beloved, I pray earnestly that you will be
the beautiful soulI created you to be.
You are my face in your world;
you are my hands, and I love working in them;
you are my eyes, and I love looking through them.
I am with you every breath;
I pray you will let my spirit in,
let me fill you and guide you;
let me be in you.
I pray you will trust what you can’t see
and rarely feel: my infinite love for you.
Oh, Beloved, I am so silly in love with you.
I pray in hope and joy and confidence,
in the name and the spirit of Jesus,
who for you and for me is our image of the other.
Amen.

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

Holiness

What if you resolved
—without knowing just what it means—
to live this day in holiness?

What if—without knowing
much about it at all—
you let your life be part
of a great, sacred mystery
unfolding around us every moment?

What if—without proof—
every moment is a prayer:
the breakfast table is a sacred altar,
the tying of one’s shoes
is a sacrifice to God,
a conversation is a priestly blessing?

A great hovering Spirit
—without your knowing
just what that is—
would make sure
holiness is attained.

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


Your two cents’ worth

         A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins,
          worth a penny. Jesus said to his disciples,
          “This poor widow has put in more
          than all those who are contributing to the treasury.”

                     —Mark 12.42-43

There are times, bereft of your worthiness,
widowed of your claim,
you think you have nothing to offer.

She put in two cents,

and two thousand years later
we remember her.

“She has put in all she has,”
Jesus said: what she had,
not what she didn’t have.

Your lack means nothing;
your poverty, to God, is not real.
What you have is precious.

What you have is not “enough,”
for “enough” is measured. No,
it’s perfect.

What gifts are in you?
Even the merest penny
is a blessing.

Give it with love.
In the heart of God
it shines like gold.

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

Lazarus

          Jesus began to weep….
          He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

                     —John 11.35, 43

There is a Lazarus in you:
someone who has died,
buried in something thick and heavy,
clenched and ungiving as a grave,
a tomb of regret and disregard, perhaps,
or dangerous hope, or fear or shame.
It has been a long time.
A stone of pain closes the entrance.

This is where Jesus stops
and weeps for the Lazarus in you.


And then to this waiting corpse,
the stench-wrapped remains,
this Lazarus beyond hope in you,
Jesus calls: “Come out!”

Not a command,
but a tearful plea to a lost love
to come back,
to return to the One Who Is Life.

Put your shoulder to the aching stone.
The rest is in other, greater hands.

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