Through you

           “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
                           —John 14.6

Jesus, I do not come to God through my prayers,
not my belief, or being good enough, or being a Christian.
I come through you, Jesus, the love of God made flesh.
You bring me, as you bring all people, no matter their religion.
It is your love, and not anything I do,
that is the way I become close to God.

Jesus, I do not need to “ask you into my heart.”
You are already here, loving me infinitely.
I only need to allow you.
I surrender my doubt that you love me,
and my pride that you should love me.
I surrender my resistance. I allow you to love me.

Christ, I do not come to God beside you, but through you.
You take me into yourself, and I come willingly.
You take me in, and I become part of you,
as I take in your bread and it becomes part of me.
I am part of the life of love,
the love that is the Way and the Truth and the Life.

Take me in, Beloved, that you may live and love through me,
and I may live and love through you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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I will take you to myself

           I will come again and will take you to myself,
           so that where I am, there you may be also.

                           —John 14.3

Forget, for a moment, the afterlife.
I am not speaking of death, but of love.

I am going to a place of radical love,
of total self-giving.
You can’t come because you can’t give me,
only I can.
But in my giving I make a place for you,
a place on the cross.

And then I will bring you with me in self-emptying,
so that where I am pouring out my life
you may be also pouring out your life,
pouring out my life through yours.

You won’t be alone. No matter where you are,
no matter what you choose or others choose for you,
what is forced upon you or is draining out of you,
I will have taken you into myself.

This is the way.
You do not go on the way. I take you.
I take you into myself, and I go the way.
As if I am with child, I carry you everywhere you go.
I am the way. I am life.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Many rooms

           In our parents’ house there are many dwelling places.
                           —John 14.2

There’s room for you.

There’s room for everybody.

There are many ways to be at home in God.

Make yourself at home.

In God’s house you have many roommates.

God’s house is wherever God is.

God is infinite. Everywhere you ever are is a room in the house of God.

Take off your shoes.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Mud season

It’s not just mud season,
but the season of sludge and slime,
the slippery slop at river’s edge
beneath the veil between the light and dark,
down underneath the hedge, among the roots
and warrens of the now undead,
where all that winter’s taken spring is taking further:
what once was frozen whole
is broken down in pools of brackish goop,
where grief is chewed and swallowed into hope.
Above the ground the thawing breezes, mendicant,
seek fragrance where it may be found,
and also reek of teeming fermentation in the soil.

Rebirth’s no lightning spark, a finger from above,
but deep below, a slow and smelly moil,
a churning of what’s lost—and it stays lost—
toward something fragile, rank, and new.
Once dead, now decomposing, death’s digested
by the worthy work of worm and rot and gut,
by grace’s blessed fungus, resurrection’s germ,
spurred on by longing, labor, and a kind of lust
where burrowings of bugs and beetles
make a womb where life is woven out of death,
and slowly seething, gravid earth gives forth,
gives joy, gives birth.
And you then, creature, will you wade
into the grave and puddle of this world
and venture into life‘s deep mud, and be remade?

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Little green specks

When you feel hollow and weak,
that you are a dry, brittle stick,
come walk with me;

when you feel strong and sure of yourself,
solid as stone, unshakable,
come walk with me:

come walk in these spring woods,
the branches flecked like a light snowfall
with little green specks,

tender and weak, tiny and tentative,
like babies’ wings, or the fingers of moths,
like the tendrils of hope curling through the soil

of your heart. Let these little leaflets be
this small today. Let them be this soft and thin,
their smallness nature’s startling ruse:

for soon enough they shall overwhelm
these woods and all that is in them,
irrepressible, astonishing, and downright

mighty. Their power is immeasurable because
it is from beyond them, pressed impossibly
into these delicate green buds like little hands,

like tiny suns, like atom bombs, like songs,
or—even when you are a dry stick, or a stone—
like you.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Breathing with the world

Standing on the rim of the hollow
this cool spring morning
I saw my breath in little grey puffs
glide smoothly into the green light
and disappear into the forest’s lungs.
We breathed in and out into each other:
each breathing in,
transforming the breath within us,
breathing out;
not artificial respiration,
but the real thing, lip to lip,
the woods and me.

On a street corner the breaths of your heart
glide smoothly in little invisible puffs
into the hearts of others.

We’re all breathing the same air,
inhaling the same spirit, sharing
the same miraculous lungs.
Be careful what you breathe in and out.
Fill the lungs of your heart with peace
and go, breathing, into this world.


Weather Report

Singularity of atmosphere,
gathering throughout the day
as the illusion of separateness
evaporates in the one air.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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