He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Urban Verses


Location
They say I'm brave to live here-
A courageous soul, more so than most
And I believe that they intend it
As a compliment to me
But what they fail to understand
Is the grave insult implied
To those I choose to live among
If being their neighbor
Makes me a hero

Why should it be harder
For me to dwell beside
A family who differs from mine
In hue and size of paycheck
Than it is to share a street
With those who show no sympathy
For the differences and weaknesses
Of others?

What would they say
If they knew the truth-
That the suburbs with their perfect lawns
Their swimming pools and soccer moms
Terrify me
Far more than the dangers
(Real and alleged)
Of my beloved 'hood?
What would they say
If they discovered this fact-
That I am not brave at all
Just more at home
Where I can be
As broken as the next?



Urban Verses is the fruit of ten years of one California-born, Amherst-educated white-Asian woman's life, work and worship in predominantly African-American west Jackson, Mississippi. What began as short-term urban ministry "project" turned into a call to community and the building of a new life alongside the people of Jackson's Voice of Calvary Fellowship. Urban Verses explores in poetry and fiction such topics as inner-city living, reconciliation, parenthood, love, theology, and more. Retellings of biblical stories, tributes to present-day heroes, laments about crime, musings about identity and relationships -- whatever the subject, each vignette offers a contemplative glimpse into the mind and heart of a young woman of faith seeking to understand and live out God's deep concern for the city, for the poor, and for reconciliation.

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Justice For All

by Douglas C. Eltzroth

Let justice roll on like a river rushing down from Heaven’s throne
Righteousness flow on, like a never-failing stream
Let’s make it right, let’s make it fair
Let’s let love balance out the scale
Let’s make it now our fervent prayer
Justice For All

For the child born feeling lonely ‘cause she’ll never know her daddy’s name
For the victim bruised and wounded from bearing someone else’s shame
For the country taken from its people
And those taken from their native land
For the weary body for the soul down trodden
For those far away or close at hand

Let justice roll on like a river rushing down from the Father’s throne
Righteousness flow on, like a never-failing stream
Let’s make it right, let’s make it fair
Let’s let love balance out the scale
Let’s make it now our fervent prayer
Justice For All

For the widowed for the orphaned, for the weak and for the poor
For the man who's lost his dignity for the family rent and torn
For the young in prison for the lost in sin
Maybe lighter maybe darker skin
For those unloved for those unworthy
For my enemies and for my friends

Let justice roll on like a river rushing down from the Father’s throne
Righteousness flow on, like a never-failing stream
Let’s make it right, let’s make it fair
Let’s let love balance out the scale
Let’s make it now our fervent prayer
Justice For All