Monday, April 18, 2011

Stay with me

Dear Urban Abbey Members and Friends: I love the way Steve Garnaas-Holmes structures his poems. They really help me focus on things that seem to be important for me this day. To me this poem paints such a wonderful picture of our loving and steadfast God who is always there -- never sleeping, or bored and frustrated with me. We have a God who gives so much and asks so little of us in return -- stay away for a while; be attentive to my call.

I wish you all a very blessed journey this Holy week to a joyful Easter morning.

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." — Matthew 26.36

He does not ask great faith of me,
but only that I stay awake
to the prayers of the suffering.

In every faltering morning meditation,
my prayer mere tissue in the wind,
in every half-hearted afternoon,
heart drifting in and out of sleep,
there is One, soggy-kneed and steady,
who is praying with all the heart of heaven,
for me.

You are my prayer.
You are my companion,
my garden,
my sleep.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Friday, April 8, 2011

When Lazarus Rose

Dear Urban Abbey Members & Friends: The poem below by Steve Garnaas-Holmes really got me thinking about my morning routine. As I'm getting older, I can certainly relate to Steve's poem. As I lay in bed in the mornings in that twilight area between sleep and waking, I can start to feel the aching muscle in my lower back or the bit of arthritis in my elbow. It would certainly be more comfortable to stay there lying still rather than getting up to greet the new day and get aching muscles and joints in action. That in a sense is renewal, a commitment to meet the new day. In the more figurative sense, I find that twilight time between sleep and waking something akin to the veil between life and death (new life). In those moments, I can be more open to God's presence and loving embrace. The challenge for me is to remember that Presence as I become fully awake and use that as a call to renewal -- that I try to become a conduit for that love and reconciliation itno the world around me.

Shalom and blessings, George

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.

When Lazarus heard his name
he took a sudden breath.
With visceral trembling
blood resurged. But then,
as when awakening some days,
he lay a moment, mired, reluctant to rise
from the familiar swaddling of his death.
Rising, even more than dying,
there could be no return:
for if he chose to stand,
all he knew would then be lost.

And still now every morning,
each momentary wish for healing is a risk,
a wakening call to change, to choose,
to leave so much behind,
and be again made new.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light