Song of the Season: Freedom Song (repost)

As our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Passover week, remembering God’s work liberating their ancestors from slavery and oppression by the domination systems in the ancient Egyptian empire, and Christians celebrate the life and teachings of Jesus as a path to personal and community liberation embodied in his words and deeds in his last week of life during Holy Week, I thought it would be fitting to share again a poem I wrote on this theme during my time working as chaplain resident in the UNC hospital psychiatric floor.

Moses-parting-red-sea

Freedom Song

“O come, o come, deliver me,”

cried those under Pharoah’s lash.

Their hearts longed to soar free

with eagle-feathers bright and brash.

Staff raised high, Israel did see,

with mighty ocean crash

the flaming light of liberty

their backs freed from burning lash.

 

Like waves I hear this cry still roar

echoing in many deserted hall

lined with cots for the homeless poor

abandoned by those called great and tall

whose money moved to distant shores

when profits  began to fall.

homeless in jesus arms

“Deliver” echoes still in whispering call

where others lie, victims of a hidden war.

Their broken bodies writhe in withdrawal

from poisons that trap them like iron doors

and wrap their minds in darkling pall.

 

“Deliver” cries children from other homes

whose minds and bodies lie broken by neglect.

Their hearts bear wounds and scars like broken bones

that will not set but must lay wrecked

uncertain for minds what healing comes.

Child Abuse Statistics

 

Oh God, who set old Israel free and yet brightens our sky

what light in such shadows can you bring

what freedom shine in their eyes.

“Deliver, Oh deliver,” their stories sing,

and I cannot help but question why

and what shape will we see rise on morning’s wings

in answer to their ceaseless cry.

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