Equinox

On the Equinox we trade
one hemisphere for another,
north and south, spring and fall.
In this moment all is both light and dark,
hope and despair, good and evil.
This world, and all of life,
is an equinox,
grace lurking in every shadow,
blessing in every fall,
healing in every wound.
Judgment is confounded.
The cross prefigures every resurrection.
Day or night, fear not.
Go ahead, into the light or the dark.
The Beloved is there,
ready for you.


___________________
Weather report

Mixed,
as the mass of the present moment,
pushed by the entire universe,
passes through
Expect rapidly changing conditions
with the steady rain and/or sunshine of grace
throughout.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Great family

           There was a rich man …
           and at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…
                           —Luke 16.19, 20



“Father Abraham…”
“Child, remember…”
“Send him to my brothers…”
Jesus tells a story laced with the language of family.
To have invited Lazarus in
would have been to treat him as family.
But the rich man has chosen a smaller family.
And Lazarus belongs to the whole family of Abraham.

When we care for the poor, when bring them to our table,
we enlarge our family to include heaven.
When we close them out, it is we ourselves
who are imprisoned beyond a great chasm
by our own small hearts.
How great a family do you want to belong to?

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

Somebody

           There was a rich man …
           and at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…
                           —Luke 16.19, 20

Admit it: society thinks of the well-to-do as “somebody,”
treating them with respect and honor,
while we treat the destitute with scorn and judgment;
we think of them as a “nobody.”
In Jesus’ a story of a rich man and a poor man
notice how he reverses that.
The rich man is not named;
other than his riches he’s nobody in particular.
But the poor man is somebody. He has a name: Lazarus.
When Lazarus dies he is carried by angels
to the bosom of Abraham.
When the the rich man dies… well, he dies. He’s buried.
Period. No further ado.

The poor, the abandoned, the nameless—they are somebody.
The guy at the intersection with the ragged cardboard sign,
the refugee with everything in a plastic bag,
the old woman in the wheelchair at the nursing home,
the addict wasting away in the upstairs room,
the inmate languishing in prison,
they have a name, a story. They’re somebody.
(So is the rich man,
but he has forfeited his identity for his riches.)
They’re not fixtures, objects, symbols of something.
They’re somebody. Look at them and see. See them.
Maybe you can help them, maybe not.
But you can see them.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Chasm

           “Between you and us
           a great chasm has been fixed,
           so that those who might want to pass from here to you
           cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.”
                           —Luke 16. 26

That chasm between the rich and the poor
isn’t some cosmic division.
It’s the rich man’s invention: the gate outside his house,
that hid Lazarus from him,
that kept him safe from the suffering of others.
It’s his refusal, still, to enter into Lazarus’ world,
and his refusal to receive the poor as anyone
but as servants for his own needs.
To enter into the life of the poor
is to cross the chasm—indeed, to close it.
It’s not an eternal abyss.
It’s a wound we hold in our hearts
till we choose to heal it.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

In pencil

           And his master commended the dishonest manager
           because he had acted shrewdly;
           for the children of this age are more shrewd
           in dealing with their own generation
           than are the children of light.

                           —Luke 16.8

I don’t know what this means.
Other than that sometimes Jesus says things
I don’t get.
Sometimes his wisdom is beyond me.
Oh, I can make up stuff to make it make sense.
Sure, it means “Don’t be stupid in dealing with the world.”
But…. Only maybe.
Don’t think you know it all.
Faith doesn’t require figuring things out.
Write it in pencil, and keep wondering.
Keep asking.
Keep listening.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

The Beloved sets a table

The Beloved sets a table for you.
Prepares a place, clear of purpose.
The Beloved buses away all the old dishes.
Sets a new table, clean and pretty.
Sets enough places for everyone.
Brings vessels sparkling with blessing.
Plates of nourishment for your soul.
Time to sit and enjoy.
And, yes, there will be ice cream.
When there is silence,
it’s because the food is so good.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Bad capitalist

           There was a rich estate holder who had a manager,
           and charges were brought
           that this manager was squandering the estate’s property.

                           —Luke 16.1

Christ, beholden to no accounting,
delights in forgiving debts.
God, rich in mercy,
rejoices in such love being squandered.
Christ, lovingly prodigal,
says, “You don’t owe.”
God, perfectly aware,
blesses such bad management.
Write it off on your account.
And next time you see such a bad capitalist,
say “Thank you.”

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Sewer

They’re laying sewer lines for the new neighborhood.
An act of pure grace and mercy.

Isn’t it great how God arranges our bodies
to use what we need and release the rest?

Lay sewer lines in your mind.
Even in your prayers.

God has already laid the lines for us
“as far as the east is from the west.”

Sewers of forgiveness. All is washed away.
Our baptismal fonts should have flush handles.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

In Gilead

           For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt;
                      I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.
           Is there no balm in Gilead?

                           —Jeremiah 8.21-22

So much vanishes. A glacier, a species, a friend.
A tattered shirt on a clothesline, in an erasing breeze.
September 11, January 6.
A hole that weighs too much,
an absence that lumbers around like a tractor.
Paper on a chain link fence, swaying.
A future fading to something else.
A voice in the square become silence.
An angel of despair who doesn’t know her words.
Grandchildren picking through shells in a barren landscape.
A thief of fire. Hope in rising waters.
The monster living in this world
that doesn’t live in this world.
A prairie in mourning, inconsolable sea.
No living thing is free of this grief.
We dip parched hearts in the spring, the balm of the whole.
We hold trembling cups to the rain,
or we wither.
A mighty God will not save us now;
vengeance will do no good.
Only tenderness will save us;
even the valiant soldier on
with broken hearts.

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Glory

In the evening I walked through the meadow,
hip deep in wet, seeding grasses.
I came home serene and warmed.
I sat down to read and noticed
grass dander all over me,
felting my pants, shedding on the sofa.
I had to pick away at the cushions
and go out and shake off, pat myself down.
Maybe I shouldn’t have.
I imagine in the spring a field of tender shoots
rising from the rug, the verdant upholstery.

Tell me, what do you have to walk through
to come home with glory all over you?

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

Published
Categorized as Reflections