Lament for America (Part 1): Crisis

There is no right
to escape this night,
the crisis in our way:
“Choose you this day…”


In case you may wonder
if meaning lies yonder
where giants stand tall,
Thank you, brothers all:
encouraged to write
what can be in sight,

with words of rough poet,
you bid me do it.

So declares the LORD:
 “I hate, I despise your religious feasts;
I cannot stand your religious assemblies.
 But let justice roll on like a river,
true love like a never-failing stream!
 For the days are coming, I declare,
when a new wine will drip from the mountains…”

– Amos 5, 9; Ruth (see NRSV, NIV)

There are reasons
why American Christians
need lament today:
to serve the new Way!

Crying God’s way
is here to stay,
to heal the soul,
‘til Justice will roll

a stone away,
and hearts of clay
will yield this day
to sing, and say:

There is no right
in power of might.
But let Peace in light
kiss Justice at night –

a time to search,
a time to lurch
forward from ruin,
to find a season

when hearts of mothers
of all the colors
bleeding as one
may embrace the Son,

together at the rivers
of their children’s tears,
where one will give
so another can live.

We stand this day
in one same way
on the brink of sway:
where some would slay –

but others hope
a stern-steep slope
will someday fall
like shards from Paul,

the same old ties
from blinded eyes,
with lamenting sigh,
so sorrows die,

you see?!
My friends, our many ends
must tie together
and seek to weather

this storm of stealth
for health and wealth,
to seek the dove
who whispers, “Love”…

So now we come,
her Word’s not mum,
to time when all
as one still call

from East to West,
the crisis, the test:
“Choose you this day! –
will you serve His way?”


For next steps into the courage of facing this crisis, I urge us all to view the movie Mississippi Burning.
This blog mini-series responding to America’s crisis today will continue in my next post. Readers are also encouraged to explore more reflections in this series: Culture Contact.

God so loved the world… God is love!
Then I saw a new heaven and new earth…
and the tree of life…
at the middle of the great street of the city…
and the leaves of the tree
are for the healing of the cultures.

John 3; 1 John 4; Revelation 21, 22

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