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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com published in Reach with accompanying CD. A recording from the CD can be found here.
Is this the day that dawns today, when all the world stands still,
when human lives are challenged in their arrogant, self-will?
Is this a time to sound again the grace which from our youth
Has brought us to this point in time to face eternal truth?
We wonder at the rhythms of creation we observe,
the genesis of all we see, the laws we sense and serve,
yet when we read in scripture of the wonders of this course,
we tend to shut our eyes to one last day of rest at source.
Now is the moment action takes the place of hollow sighs,
the sighs that speak of emptiness, of loneliness and lies;
great God, within this Sabbath rest we question and explore,
is this a time when you recede, a tide drawn from the shore?
Now is a time of deep compassion, caring and concern,
when every person needs the love that money cannot earn.
This is a time when values shift and search for solid ground,
to put aside our selfishness to go where grace is found.
© Andrew Pratt 17/3/2020
I have already found the political emphasis on economics in the face of the Coronavirus to be rather tiresome. Surely care of one another ought to be foremost and enabling the security of every person ought to take priority over all else.