Authority over demons

             He called the twelve
             and began to send them out two by two,
             and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
                            —Mark 6.7

Beware the temptation to imagine
we must be given magical powers of exorcism.
We are given love.

The demons that plague this world
are not fantastical creatures with shadowy malice and twisted powers.
An “unclean spirit” is simply the fear of being unacceptable:
fear of powerlessness, fear of being oneself,
fear of not being enough, of not belonging, not deserving God.
These are the demons, and nothing more ominous or frightening,
that haunt even the greatest tyrant.

The love we are given
is stronger than all demons, though often slower to work.
Love overcomes fear and loneliness,
exorcises the anxiety of not belonging,
sets people free from torment,
free to join the giving-and-receiving of life.
It’s a slow, gentle medicine. But powerful.

We are given patience in the face of challenge,
courage in the face of injustice,
gentleness in the face of violence.
Authority over unclean spirits

Go out into this hurting world, and know
you are given a power greater than the demons of pain and fear.
Go with gentle courage. Go with love.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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