You said if we kept Your glory silent,
The rocks would bear loud witness.
This week the world is screaming
Of how far we’ve fallen from glory
Look at the headlines
They leave us all reeling.
Race turned tragic by metal shot through air
Already that’s too much
It leaves so many questions
So many lives that will not be the same
And it all seems so senseless.
The ground shakes and shifts
In Yunnan, Oklahoma, Iran
Pictures of rubble and people bereft
We’re all just humans
Trying to stand and trying to walk
But even solid ground can betray.
Bombs go off in Iraq
And more people die.
Images of an explosion in Texas
Stories of babies massacred
Of rape and assault
All of our lives broken and twisted deep.
That’s not the end of this dizzy stream
Grudges and hatred thick enough to touch
China has neither forgotten nor forgiven
Atrocities carried out by Japan.
I’ve seen bitterness in students’ eyes
Although others want reconciliation.
When wars drag on too long
It’s hard to say what winning would be
There’s just the aching knowledge
That all the people are victims
And people beg for peace in Korea
But no one knows what will happen.
Germs in the air
Fear of what could be
We all wonder, wait.
When students are sick,
It’s hard not to worry.
Our hearts are all heavy
With pain of our own
And the earth crying out.
I’m eager for renewal
For a world without killing, corruption
Death, disease, disaster.
But then I think about them.
It’s already choking me to say
I won’t be back next year
And I have three months left!
I don’t know when this love grew
That welded my heart so suddenly.
I think of 300-something faces and names
Of all that I’ve heard of their stories
Of dining hall conversations
And questions in class
Messages on qq
And yesterday in my living room.
“They say China’s dangerous, with no belief.”
He told me, laughing, this friend of mine
His eyes are all honest and his smile’s wide open.
“Do I look dangerous to you?”
I couldn’t laugh, afraid that I’d cry
Afraid that my heart would split open and spill.
I’m not afraid of you, of course,
But I am so afraid for you.
The world is rushing to its end
And I don’t know how to wake you up
You are not yet prepared
For what will surely come.
So in the midst of all the darkness
All the terrible news crashing in
I am pleading for light to break in, undeniable
For good news to explode
To infect dead hearts with life
For all manner of things to be well.