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