Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Many Times?

If today's entry reminds you of the 1960s song "Blowin' in the Wind," it's because the song provided the first stirrings of inspiration for the poem. I like folk music (along with plenty of similar styles, from hymns to contemporary praise), and would be writing songs as well as poetry except that my musical talent stops at the ability to hear melodies in my head! So from time to time, this blog will feature "songs without music"--and if anyone wants to volunteer for the job of composer, please write me.

We all are confronted daily with the sad state of the world--yet few of us truly "let our hearts be broken with the things that break the heart of God," as the founder of World Vision put it. More often we moan about how hard it is to be a Christian today and how we wish God would do something about all the pain and heartache; and often our own complaints drown out the sound of His voice telling us to go and be part of the solution. If we are not doing the Lord's work in some way, however small--or if we are harboring bitter attitudes toward those whose sin interferes with our desire to live in peace and comfort--we are contributing far more to the problem.

How many times must the world turn around
Before people learn to do right?
How many wars must be fought on this earth
Before we stop worshiping might?
How many tears must be shed for the dead
Before we all tire of the pain?
And how many times,
Yes, how many times,
Oh, Lord, how many times
Must we see what hate does
Before we realize,
Realize once and for all,
That nothing is there to be gained?

How many lives must be lost to the rage
That claims to be fighting for good?
How many souls must this world sacrifice
In the name of each "ism" and "should"?
How many faces must swell from the blows
Of people protecting each cheek?
And how many more,
Yes, how many more,
Oh, Lord, how many more,
How many more years,
How many long years,
Must the world bear such pain
Before it is passed to the meek?

How many times can a person ask "Why?"
And never say, "Lord, please send me"?
How many times can a heart nearly break,
Yet never renounce apathy?
How many years have I mourned for this world,
Yet which of its tears have I dried?
Lord, pardon my sin,
Yes, pardon my sin,
Oh, Lord, pardon my sin,
And give legs to my heart,
That my feet may step out,
That my feet and my hands
Reach out to those for whom You died.

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