There is a question inside you.
Like a baby needing to be born,
it must come out.

It may be a curious inquiry, or an angry challenge.
It may be a profound exploration, or a Zen koan.
It’s not a rhetorical question.
It may be a question for a friend, or your lover,
or the authorities, or yourself.
It may be a question for God, or the universe.
Maybe even for ancestors long gone.
It may be a question that’s actually a statement,
but there’s a real question behind it.
It’s a question to which you truly don’t know the answer.

Ask it.
Don’t force the answer. Wait in silence for it,
which may take a long time.
There may not be an answer.
But don’t silence the question any longer.
The graveyard murmurs with the cries of unasked questions.
Speak it, let the silence hang in the air,
and wait.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 8, 2021

What we receive

         No one who has left house or brothers or sisters
         or mother or father or children or fields,
         for my sake and for the sake of the good news,
         will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—
         houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children
         and fields—with persecutions—
         and in the age to come eternal life.
                   —Mark 10.29-30

We’ll lose authority figures (fathers),
because we’ll lose all hierarchies.
We’ll gain persecutions, because we’ll lose
insulation from the world’s suffering.
But the life we live will be infinitely deep,
life that we can’t lose, that no one, nothing,
not even death, can take from us.

Faith is the blessed leap
from what we leave
to what we receive.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 7, 2021


         They were greatly astounded and said to one another,
        “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said,     
        “ For mortals it is impossible, but not for God;
         for God all things are possible.”
                   —Mark 10.26-27

Funny how we think we can do something to be saved.
What must you do to be saved from drowning?

If you could get yourself saved,
it wouldn’t getting saved, would it? It would be swimming.

We’re saved from the impossibility
of being saved.

We’re saved from the gap be place between ourselves
and God’s perfect love.

From our secret religion of impossibility,
from the impossibility of being good enough,

from the impossibility of good triumphing,
of evil being forgiven to death, of resurrection,

from impossibility itself, astoundingly—impossible!—
we are saved.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 6, 2021

Sharp sword

         The word of God is living and active,
         sharper than any two-edged sword,
         piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow;
         it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
                   —Hebrews 4.12

Loving scalpel Word,
cutting deep, slicing deftly
false from true
with your invisible seeing
what is me and what is not,
the lies so tightly knotted
around the truth
only the carefullest cut
can lift the subtlest tumors
of fear and shame,
can free the real;
sharp sword not of punishment
but revealing,
I am gladly laid bare to you
and your work among the thin tissues,
the holy membranes,
gentle as you are
with what needs to open and give way
for this Cesarean birth.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 5, 2021

Eye of the Needle

         “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own and give to the poor. ….
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
         than for someone who is rich to enter the Realm of God.”
                   —Mark 10.21,25

First, take it literally.
No prosperity gospel here.

Jesus didn’t mean unloading the camel
to squeeze it through a gate.
He meant getting a dromedary through a pinhole.
Ain’t gonna happen.
Your riches hold you back. All of them.

Not just money.
What you lack is lacking what you have.
What is the thing you lack?
What do you need to let go of?
What do you rely on for happiness,
security, worthiness?

Lose those riches.
They keep you from trusting the only thing
that gives true joy, worthiness and security:
the astonishingly steady love of God.

Keep letting go.
Keep coming back to grace.
The camel will never get through the needle’s eye.
But you don’t need to go there.
Beloved, you’re already here.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 4, 2021

Indigenous People’s Day

         God said, “What have you done?
         Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”
                   —Genesis 4.10

Great Spirit,
for the blood of our siblings of the earth
which cries out to us from the ground
on which we build our houses and highways,
we ask your mercy.
For the songs of those the White people tried to wipe out,
songs that still resonate in this land,
we give you thanks,
and ask your mercy.
For the hopes of the people whose lives are belittled,
and who even now disappear without our caring,
we pray for your healing,
and ask your mercy.
O Mysterious One, may the peoples of this land be restored;
may the hosts and invaders be reconciled in true peace;
may the songs increase, and the dance grow thunderous.
Aho. Amen.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 4, 2021

Good and bad

         Shall we receive the good at the hand of God,
         and not receive the bad?
                   —Job 2.10

What if love does not hand out stuff,
good or bad,
but is simply present in all things?
Without judging, can I receive it?

What if nothing happens “at the hand of God,”
but everything is in the hand of God?
Without judging, can I receive it all?

What if things, like rain, are both good and bad,
and neither, but simply are?
Without judging, can I receive them?

What if good and bad
are so wrapped up in pleasant and unpleasant
that we can’t tell very well?
Without judging, can I receive everything?

What if my life is neither good nor bad
but wondrously full of pain and pleasure,
and the presence of God?
Without judging, can I receive it?

I open my hands.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 1, 2021


On my knees, earnestly confessing…
it seems I lost my train of thought
and then I realize: no,
it was stolen—not by the devil
but by the Beloved, who runs off,

I return to my confession but I am
interrupted by a bird on the windowsill,
singing beautifully to me. To me.

In the tight fist of my confession
I glimpse the secret: not shame
but a great loneliness.
I dare not open its hand.

But it opens.

Sometimes I feel I am winding sheets,
grave clothes tangling the Lazarus inside me,
trying to keep him down,
but he hears,
he hears
and he rises.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

September 30, 2021

Categorized as Reflections

As a child

         Truly I tell you, whoever does not
         receive the realm of God as a little child
         will never enter it.
                   —Mark 10.15

       requiring the help of others.

       without ability to make it happen.

       without having earned it, receiving it as pure gift.

       not understanding, only delighting.

       living not in a proposition but a story.

       seeking not to be right but to be loved.

       knowing you are not an only child.

       for not everything is So Serious.

       willing to hand yourself over.

       without power, status, standing, voice or recourse.

Hear it: vulnerable,
       at risk, and likely the first to suffer.

       as the beloved child of a parent
       who would, and will, die for you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

September 29, 2021

Categorized as Reflections

You are a family

Your children have many moods. Let them.
Let the playful one play with abandon.
Let the earnest one read the book.
Let the weeping one cry freely.
Hold the frightened one in your lap.
Give space for the one who is flying or dancing
or battling dragons or maybe just moving
to move without getting hurt.
They all belong. They are all beautiful.
Gather them to the table and eat together.
Bless them all. They all enrich your wisdom.
Do not forget or abandon any of them.
When you go out into the world
be sure to have listened to them all.
It is to such as these that the Realm of God belongs.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

September 28, 2021

Categorized as Reflections