Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us
December 21, 2013Samantha Bissell, Class of 2015
The holidays are a time to get in touch with those to whom you haven’t spoken in a while; sending cards to relatives from distant branches of the family tree, texting old friends with holiday greetings, delivering cookies to neighbors. While the holidays present a beautiful opportunity to do these things, I have often heard the sentiment expressed that “we should be doing this all the time.” In my personal experiences at Emmanuel, this spirit of contentedness and generosity is always present. We don’t save this spirit for the Christmas season, and this is what makes our community so unique.
As we all know, we hold the doors open for one another. As we all may not know, people carry out touching acts of generosity and kindness every day. This can be seen in the way that people who have only met at orientation continue to greet one another in the halls; in the way that the new EC Cursive club leaves kind notes for strangers to find; in acts as simple as holding the elevator door for the person who’s running late to class.
This year, especially, our Emmanuel College community has extended this feeling of belonging and togetherness far beyond the Christmas season. In April, following the events of the Boston Marathon, students joined together for a candlelight vigil that afforded everyone a refuge among the chaotic and uncertain feelings that filled the day. For the hour that we stood together, offering sentiments of sadness, of hope, and of our gratitude for one another, we were unmistakably a community, and these feelings of support for one another and for our greater community have continued.
It is in the nature of our Emmanuel community to share, to be generous, to care about one another and the greater world that we are a part of. This year, as I have every year as a student at Emmanuel, I will consider this community of solidarity and support to be one of my most dear gifts.