The devil said, “To you I will give the glory
           of all the empires of the world
           and all this authority if you will worship me.”
           —Luke 4.6-7

Evil men (yes, it seems it is men)
seek empire and its power and authority.
Twisted souls seek glory.

Such empire only ends in flame and ashes,
in hearts or buildings crushed, or both,
in weeping in the streets.

Beloved, do not seek power or authority or glory.
You already have them.
The realm is within you,

the realm of unearned kindness and mercy,
the empire of grace and healing,
the commonwealth of cherished belonging.

Even in the shadow of tyrants,
awaken to the realm where you abide,
the realm of shared bread and open hands,

of steadfast friends, and mothers who tend their children,
of voices raised in songs in a thousand tongues.
For love outshines every ruler and undoes every empire.

Don’t leave, in lust for a dream,
the world where you already belong,
and shine, and reign as royalty.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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