There was a man with an unclean spirit,
         who cried out, “What have you to do with us,
         Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?”
              —Mark 1. 23-24

Well, yes, Jesus has come not just to heal one man,
but to sabotage the very structure of evil.
And in particular to do away with the lie
of uncleanness.

Some things I’ve done, some things others have done to me,
make me feel dirty. Somehow unpresentable to God.
Jesus will have none of it.
It’s something about my past, not who I am.

I want to think of myself
on some scale of acceptability to God,
a little unclean, part of me troublingly unpresentable,
but cleaner than many.

Jesus will have none of it.
God welcomes all of us, dirt and all.
The crud on us, that both we and others have put there,
is not who we are. It’s just mud on the jewel.

Jesus, I know who you are, the holy one of God.
Cast out the spirit of uncleanness.
Help me see the shining gem in me and everyone:
beneath the shame, the wonder.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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