More Heart, Less Attack by Jessica Zambrano ’17

Sunrise at Kyleakin by Gianna Uson '18 for More Heart, Less Attack.JPG

“Be the light in the cracks
Be the one that’s mending the camel’s back
Slow to anger and quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attack”

I remember the first time I heard these lyrics. I was walking up Brook Street, back toward campus. I could feel the warmth of the mid-May sun on my face, smiling as each new lyric rolled through my head.

A week later the song was a hazy memory; I couldn’t remember the name or the words, just the moment. May 25. It felt like summer for the first day of the year. The most beautiful day, the same feeling as a week prior. Campus was buzzing with the return of recent graduates and in anticipation of Commencement. It was the kind of warm summer night you spent with friends laughing, eating, and watching movies until way too late. I remember feeling overwhelmed with joy, peace, and love. God’s perfection.

I woke up expecting May 26 to be the same. But then the phone calls came in. The emails, too. I didn’t check them until my friend Gianna turned to me with this look of horror, only saying, “Jessie,” before breaking into sobs. The first email…

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It felt wrong that we lost Ellynn on that perfect summer night. It felt right that the evening of her memorial service was ugly and cold, the sky crying with us. Her favorite songs played on loop, ringing through the church lobby and sanctuary. There were those words again.

“Be the light in the cracks
Be the one that’s mending the camel’s back
Slow to anger and quick to laugh
Be more heart and less attack”

Of course this would be one of Ellynn’s favorite songs. It’s how she lived her life: more heart, less attack. I couldn’t help but smile because in the midst of the cold, I could feel the warmth of the sun on the first day I heard these words. And I could feel the peace of the night, see the radiance of the sunset, on the evening of May 25. It all made sense. That’s how God is: He takes our brokenness and makes it beautiful. He is our light in the darkness. He gives us peace in our confusion. In her life, Ellynn pointed us toward God, and in her death, she continues to do the same.

Ellynn Koelsch, we love you, and you are missed. In your time at Brown, you were more than a mentor. You were an example to us of how to practice graciousness, humility, peace, compassion, generosity, grace, and every other good thing. Your life was love.

More Heart, Less Attack.jpg

Jessica Zambrano is a senior concentrating in Urban Studies.

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