Hunting—maybe you know what for—
prepared to capture and subdue,

with your bag of longings,
your solemn arrows,

you are only vaguely aware—
yet guarded—

that something in the tall grass,
as if a lion, only more vast,

a great, muscular joy
is making its way toward you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:


           Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
           nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
           nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
           will be able to separate us from the love of God
           in Christ Jesus the Beloved.
                           —Romans 8.38-39

Neither sin nor doubt nor disbelief
can separate you from the love of which you are made.
There is no deserving, no expectation
that can affect the love you are given,
or the heart-deep joy of the giver.
No failure or triumph can change this love,
as absolute as gravity,
as constant as the speed of light.
Trust it, and trust
even your failure to trust it can’t stop it.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:


           Those whom God predestined God also called;
           and those whom God called God also justified;
           and those whom God justified God also glorified.

                           —Romans 8.30

And whom does God predestine?
All of us, dear.
Every single one of us, saintly and wretched alike,
is destined to be drawn into the love of God,
forgiven deeply and perfectly,
and made to shine with the radiance of God’s beauty.
Our outward behavior may or may not show it.
We may or may not realize it, or believe it, or want it.
But unseen, our destiny as God’s chosen ones
unfolds inexorably.
Pray that you may trust the gift,
and that you may walk through the crowded market
with such eyes.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

All for good

           We know that all things work together for good
           for those who love God,
           who are called according to God’s purpose.

                           —Romans 8.28

The promise
is not that everything turns out just fine,
but that in all things, even those that go badly,
goodness is working hard for you,
that the spirit that holds everything together
is moving things, unseen for your sake,
that grace dwells in the midst, hovers affectionately,
that love sings blessing, pulses with life-giving energy,
works its magic, evokes beauty and healing.
The promise is that even in difficulties
Love awaits you, Jacob’s Rachel,
Lazarus’ awakening.
And even without a future,
you are accompanied,
made glorious,

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

I adore

          The Spirit helps us in our weakness;
          for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
          but that very Spirit intercedes
          with sighs too deep for words.
                           —Romans 8.26

O Love,
I don’t know how to pray.
I have nothing to say,
no idea what I should be thinking
or even listening for.
So I will sit quietly with you,
as if holding hands on a park bench.
I hold this space in me,
this not knowing, this emptiness,
and in this wilderness in me
you pray.

And I adore.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:


           “The realm of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
                      which someone found and hid;
                      then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has
                      and buys that field.
           Again, the realm of heaven is like a merchant
                      in search of fine pearls;
                      on finding one pearl of great value,
                      she went and sold all that she had and bought it.

                           —Matthew 13. 44-45

Beloved, you are that pearl.
God has given away everything
to have you.

God has let go of every possession
to buy the field of the whole world
because you are in it.

This is the Realm of God.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

Arm in arm

           We are joint heirs with Christ—
           if, in fact, we suffer with Christ
           so that we may also be glorified with Christ.

                           —Romans 8.17

Children of God
          heirs of all God’s gifts
                      arm in arm with Jesus

side by side in glory
           side by side on the road
                      side by side in the village

kneeling by the disabled man
           embracing the leper
                      enduring the scorn

entering into the suffering of the world
           his broken heart in ours
                      arm in arm on the cross


Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

I, I did not know

           Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said,
           “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I—
           I did not know!”

                           —Genesis 28.16

In Hebrew the “I” is repeated:
“And I — I did not know.”
As if maybe there are two “I’s.”
One is the rational mind that doesn’t know,
that is incapable of apprehending God
because God’s isn’t a “thing” it can think about.
Imagine experiencing a passionate kiss.
Your mind can “get” the idea of it,
but it’s not your mind that’s kissed.
It’s not even your lips. It’s something deeper,
maybe that other, deeper “I.”

We spend most of our time in the shallow “I,”
spiritually asleep:
thinking, judging, and, honestly,
not knowing God’s presence.
But the deeper I is still there,
and when we awaken it knows.
It’s only your soul that can know God,
not by thinking or believing,
but simply by being in love.

The good news is, awake or asleep,
even when we are sure God is absent,
God is present.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:


           And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth,
           th e top of it reaching to heaven;
           and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

                           —Genesis 28.12

Was it a long, long ladder,
a skinny rickety thing
reaching up through clouds,
through the stratosphere, the mesosphere,

golly, all the way to the stars?
(Was there a little landing,
a resting spot on the moon?)
Or did it transcend space,
because it’s not about altitude,
but presence,
vanishing up into God?
Was the angelic traffic heavy,
was it like downtown or the airport,
everybody rushing to get somewhere?
Or was it more casual? Or maybe
more stately, like a church procession?

What if it was really just
a little wooden stepladder
and the angels of heaven
all went up and down on it at once
because heaven is the presence of God
and it’s right here,
and their going wasn’t so much travel
as a change of perspective?

What if your heart is the ladder,
and angels are on the move,
and a little bit of you goes all the way
to God and back,
even when you sleep through it?

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

Wheat among the weeds

           “In gathering the weeds
           you would uproot the wheat along with them.
           Let both of them grow together until the harvest.”

                           —Matthew 13.29-30

Oh, how we want to be among the wheat
at the last judgment, gathered and bundled off to heaven,
not separated out to be burned!

As If Jesus is talking about others—
you know, those bad people—and not you,
not what in you yourself is good and bad.

Maybe God lets you discern what is fruitful in you
and blesses it; and what is not fruitful,
if you are willing, God graciously, thankfully, removes.

Maybe we shouldn’t be ripping out weeds
because we don’t know what’s weeds and what isn’t;
we don’t really know what’s good or bad.

Maybe, though we’d love to get rid of those we hate,
we shouldn’t, because we actually also depend on them,
and removing them would uproot us, too.

Maybe we should go easy on our judgments because
we have no idea what wounds or burdens people bear,
so that what seems evil to us is actually pretty good for them.

Maybe it’s not that we shouldn’t judge
but that we can’t: we can’t know
what grace lurks in even the worst person or situation.

Maybe resisting evil and injustice is so hard
because there are weeds of hate and fear in our own hearts
and sorting that out is hard and humbling.

Maybe the stuff in your life that seems bad
is also graced, and your work is
to glean the fruit from it.

Maybe God is so present in everything
that even despite the vilest evil
grace is always possible.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

Your Cart
  • No products in the cart.