I look today across that once-new City on a Hill, bright enough
To draw, as a beacon, through entrenched old global
Wars and famines. Oh, yes, there were inherited sordid
Darknesses here, even from the beginning–being inhabited by humans—
But more light than dark. Hope. The hearts in whom
The light burned were found everywhere, creating ways
To kindle more lights. Life. Growing Liberty. Some peaceable
Pursuit Of happiness. Awakening Justice.
Now throughout our city passages—no gleaming alabaster
After all, but grime of human tears– appear growing
Proliferations of darkness. Violent suppressions of life
Multiply, renewed silencing of voices, spreading penuries,
Withholding of food by new hoarders of wealth, denial of medicine,
Outright murders. What we had reduced awhile gains ground.
In places the lights are going out faster than we can relight them.
Some of us still pray Thy Kingdom Come, join others doing, too,
The things that make for peace–nurturing young, assuring
Wages earned are wages paid, clearing air, securing justice,
–the binding up of wounds, heading into tomorrow.
We live Give me your tired and your poor. Many of us actually
Believe the Gospel.
Were we always the remnant? –Not of some new cloth, but of that
Ancient, that primaeval fabric, the one like a yeasted dough,
A venerable starter from a hundred years ago, a thousand,
Thousands—Vigorous, nourishing, ready to reproduce,
Redemptive, being the change. SEEing
Fellowman Fellowoman Fellowchild:
Each other’s given sacredness.
Be our Light in the darkness, Lord, and in your great mercy
Defend us from all perils of this upsurge of night.
Be our Vision that we not be blinded by bitterness.
Be our Courage that we not be overcome with dread.
Be our life that we not succumb to contempt.
Be our strength to be your Kingdom here.
Mercy, we remember, is undeserved.
Save– if not our City–
Our City’s lives.
Deanna Harrington Christiansen 2017
All Rights Reserved