How long, oh Lord?
How long will it take
For us to show your mercy,
For us to live into your grace?
Like a Mother,
Bending over her young child,
You wait for our first stumbling steps
You wait for us to wake
With the compassion
You have placed within our hearts.
You wait with eager longing.
It seems you cannot compel our hearts
Without negating who we are.
We must learn to hear your call
And move ourselves toward you.
And yet, our eyes are turned away
From your dear face.
We let ourselves be filled with fear
And the anger that it breeds.
Our leaders curse and blame and fume.
We follow their example,
Letting their anger spark our own.
We yield to fear over faith.
Its hard to take that step
When we listen to the torrent of words
That flow from angry mouths
Feeding that anger and fear.
But deep within my heart,
When I am still, when I am quiet,
I think I hear you whisper,
‘One step, my child, one step.’
‘You learn to walk
By looking at my face
Not at your feet,
Nor at your fear.’
‘You learn by reaching for my hands.
You learn to walk by falling.
And by getting up.
And taking one more step.’
Help me to learn to walk toward justice.
[I need to acknowledge that my white privilege stains my words and shields me from much of the risk of striving for justice. Yet the guilt and shame and fear that are my first reactions to the dawning realization of my complicity are not the motivations that will best help to change my heart or my actions. Such emotions keep the focus on me. Instead, I need to keep my eyes and my heart focused on Christ, who shows himself in the oppressed and marginalized people around me.]