On the sidewalk – a song of poverty and loneliness

I am posting this midway through Christian Aid Week. We tend to focus on needs which are abroad. Often there are people on our doorstep, in villages, towns and cities where we live who have needs which are profound. Perhaps this is where we will meet Christ. This song was written form the perspective of such a person. Hal Hopson set it with a tune for America. Some years later a (now retired) Methodist Presbyter set it and recorded it and it was published in his book, Reach.

1	On the sidewalk, by the shop-front 
        [On the pavement, by the shop-front - alt line]
	I laid down my mat to sleep;
	tears of sadness welled within me,
	thoughts of all that might have been.

2	Lost within this hidden city
	where the subway hums and groans,
	left unnoticed and defenceless,
	God forsaken and alone.

3	Can you sense my thrumming heart-beat,
	can you feel a reason why
	in your wealth you're just as lonely,
	waiting for your time to die?

4	Maybe I should look more clearly
	through the eyes of given hope,
	maybe you could stoop more lowly
	that together we may cope.

Andrew E Pratt; Words © 2002 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk. 
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. 
All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 8 7 8 7 Trochaic
Tunes: RECONCILIATION (Hopson) published in Whatever Name or Creed, 2002.
SIDEWALK (Sharrocks) © 2010 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk  
published in Reach with accompanying CD.
A recording from the CD can be found here.

Hymn Books – all new on sale.

All of my own collections are currently on sale at half price together with others such as writers as Elizabeth CosnettMarjorie DobsonAlan GauntFred Pratt GreenFred Kaan, Janet WoottonBrian Wren and of course Sydney Carterclick here for details

Promise of hopefulness, pardon and peace – hymn for our world at a time of war

1	Promise of hopefulness, pardon and peace;
	Source of deliverance, blessed release;
	Ground of our being, of darkness and light,
	Love's possibility, enmity's night;

2	Cleave to the centre of selfish desire
	Bring to creation by earth, wind or fire
	All that is hoped for and all that's unseen:
	Goodness and glory are more than a dream.

3	In our absurdity, clamour and war
	Unseat our certainty, counter and floor
	All sense of prejudice, hatred and then
	Offer us strangers that we can befriend.

4	Give us the courage to enter this cleft,
	Healing the hurt of the lost, the bereft,
	Offering hope, though our love's crucified,
	Soaking up malice where peace is denied;

5	Love is the answer to vengeance and wrath,
	Going on loving in spite of the loss,
	Facing the depth of depravity's gain,
	Burning our hatred on love's sweeter flame.

6	Pour out your spirit, God, fill up our lives,
	Offering loveliness, love that survives,
	Then take and lift us and raise up our song:
	Love is yet greater than all human wrong.

Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
Words © 1999 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.stainer.co.uk
Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: 10 10 10 10 Dactylic
Tune: KOSOVO (Andrew Pratt) No.57 in Whatever Name or Creed  also available in USA from Hope Publishing.
Adrian Perry notated this tune and played it when it was first used in the Leigh & Hindley Circuit of the Methodist Church at the time of its composition.