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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann



“We covered over your colorful earth with gray cement.

We cut down tree and stripped the soil wherever we went.

We scarred the hills for gold and coal,

Blind with greed inside our soul,

Our goal: to have complete control.

Lord have mercy. Can we be restored?

Lord have mercy.


What of the lands of tribes and nations who lived here first?

Who took the best with broken treaties, and left the worst?

By whom were slaves bought, used, sold?

Who valued humans less than gold?

Who told us racist lies until our hearts went cold?

Lord have mercy. Can we be restored?

Lord have mercy.


The noise of traffic is drowning out the songbird’s song.

Your voice within us is telling us that we’ve gone wrong.

You call us from our selfishness, to be blessed – and to bless.

To turn to you, to begin anew.


Lord have mercy. Can we be restored?

Lord have mercy.


Brian McLaren


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