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Quickened by Joy


I was months into the heaviness Of child-carrying, swaybacked and swollen, and my husband Mute as an old stone— So that I heard it all the louder when Miriam’s shout Reached me from the dust-choked road outside. I raced out to see her standing there, Glowing with sweat, her body just beginning To take on a mother’s curves beneath her robes. And then the child that nestled sweet Beneath my heart Leapt—not a simple turning, not a kick, But jumped as if some new and secret joy Had set him dancing: and it was then I knew— Knew who it was she bore within herself. Later some would call it solemn, grand; but truthfully, We laughed as we embraced: breast to breast, Cheek to smiling cheek, And I know that both our sons were laughing too, in that way of old friends meeting after years, when all time seems as nothing, and the space between lives collapses into grace.

-Anne Giedinghammer

As a person of prayer, how does this moment invite you in? This question, posed by Suzanne Guthrie on her Edge of Enclosure website, is a great one to ponder. What great joy quickens you? When in your life have you felt that flutter in your soul and known that you were in the presence of something glorious? As we head into the 4th Sunday of Advent, we might pray with Mary and Elizabeth, focusing on holy moments in this season, moments that give us great joy, quickening moments, moments when we know we are in the presence of the Divine, "the glorious impossible."

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