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You’ve touched all the foreheads with oil and ash. You’ve set them off to follow Jesus to Jerusalem. You’ve planned all the Lenten services with a bit more simplicity, and the kyrie repeats in your head. 

That’s good. You need it now, don’t you? Mercy? 

Yes, the world needs it – far off places whose suffering haunts you. Yes, the people need it – nearby stories of pain that perch you on the edge of despair. Is anyone really okay? Lord, have mercy on us. 

And on you, dear child.  

I hear exhaustion in your heartbeat. I feel tiredness in you soul. Of course – you’re human. So listen when I say that it’s okay to want compassion and kindness for yourself. It’s okay to need someone to know this road is hard. It’s okay to let yourself say Lord, have mercy on me.  

I see you, beloved. I love you, child.  

Rest a moment here in this grace.  


Find your favorite Kyrie and immerse yourself in it, or listen to one here

Inhale: I rest 
Exhale: in your mercy 

Julie VanDerVeen Van Til

Julie VanDerVeen Van Til is the pastor of Flossmoor Community Church in Flossmoor, Illinois. She and her family enjoy music, theater, books and travel. They especially enjoy exploring National Parks, interactive museums, and anyplace with water in the summertime. .


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