In the frenzy of the holidays and the weighty disruption to which Advent invites us, may we remember to pause, check in with ourselves and all that we’re carrying, and realign ourselves with the unfolding rhythms of incarnation. Here’s a beautiful meditation and brief reflection from Emma Groppe, a first-year MA in Counseling Psychology student, grounded in the liturgical prayer Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. In it may you find space—even for a moment—to feel movement and grace in places that may feel stuck or overwhelmed.

When my soul is hurried.
Far from wonder, wandering far and far from home.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

When my soul is grasping.
Whitened knuckles, deathly grip, afraid of letting go.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

When my soul is groaning.
Ripe for harvest, yet left hanging and heavy and alone.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

When my soul is howling.
Rasping from strain and cries and woe.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

When my soul is longing.
Restless with waiting desire, palms extended and exposed.
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison.

Over the past few months, I have journeyed through the beginning measures of a new melody here in the community of The Seattle School. With each rise and fall (and there have been many), my soul has stumbled, struggling to muster the strength to keep holding the instruments, learning the notes, and playing to pace. Wayward and willful, my soul has fought against exposing truth, identifying longing, and receiving care. Waning and then daringly waxing, it has sighed, and cried, and dared to hope. It has been months of undoing and redoing, and then daring to try to do again, rhythms and stages hopefully portrayed in the lines above. As we, my soul and I, and this, our new community, approach the season of Advent, we carry these rhythms and measures of a new melody with pregnant expectation and fright. Yet, somehow, the cadence rings familiar. How often have I, have we, approached the truthful wonder of our Savior’s love with such patterns: our doubts and our cries and our hopes bearing a resemblance to years and fears past? For this soul, therein lies the beauty of Advent: a rhythm and a disruption far louder than mine. Yearly, Advent plays a remembrance tune, abounding with God’s devotion, and singing melodies of stillness and of faithfulness, of beauty, and of love.