Light unfolding

Spirit, be upon me

Spirit of the Mighty, Gentle One,
come upon me, anoint me.

I see the oppressed.
I name them; I hold them close.
Make my life into good news for them.

I see the brokenhearted.
I name them; I hold them close.
Give me gentle grace to bind up their hearts.

I see the imprisoned.
I name them; I hold them close.
Give me true words and deeds to release them.

I see the ruined cities.
I name them; I hold them close.
Make me a part of their building up.

Spirit of God, be upon me.
I see my own ruins, my chains.
Hold me close
 and set me free,
that I may be
 your good news for others.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
, Unfolding Ligh

I read my daily email message from Pastor Steve Garnass-Holmes on December 9, 2014, in the midst of the furor over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and in the midst of the Advent season of darkness and waiting for Jesus’ birth. Pastor Steve titles his messages “Unfolding Light.” I am drawn to his postings each day because they are beautiful, poetic, inspiring and thought-provoking. I love his title because it is evocative and hopeful.

My understanding of spiritual direction and how it works is that of the “unfolding light”-—the light that is within you and each one of us.

We meet, talk, listen and reflect and our self awareness grows so that we might embrace the Divine within us and within other people. Our lights unfold.

Advent is a season of waiting in the dark for the Light to come in the form of Jesus’ birth, yet Pastor Steve’s prayer speaks of taking actions, of seeing, naming, and holding others close, and then acting to release and build up others. I believe that in taking these actions we take responsibility for ourselves and, to the extent possible, for those we can affect in positive ways. This includes all humans and all living creatures.

We must first see, then speak, then hold (in respect and love), and then release, lift up, and work for justice in order to rebuild what has fallen, be it a person, a city or a world.

To do this larger work, we must begin at home, with ourselves.

I am a fan of the ripple effect: that one drop of water falling into the pond ripples out and affects a much larger world, even when we cannot see or touch what has been affected. So it is with our listening, seeing, naming, respecting, holding in safety, and loving others. I believe we are co-creating our reality– working in conjunction with Spirit, God(dess), Sacred Mystery, Nature–all that we might “name” as Ultimate.

How and who will you see today? Who or what will you name? Who or what will you hold, respect and love? What actions will you then take?