In 1992, Shirley Erena Murray wrote “Wounded world that cries for healing.” It was written for an ecumenical service in New Zealand, her home, dealing with the issues of health and welfare benefits for the people. It is deliberately a political hymn and one of protest and resolve. Carefully read her words:
Wounded world that cries for healing here we hold each other’s pain,
wounded systems, bruised and bleeding bear the load, the scars of strain;
dollars ration our compassion, hard decisions rule the day,
Jesus of the healing Spirit, free us to another way!
Through our nation’s spent frustration, through the corridors of stress
may there move a kindlier wisdom all may feel, and all may bless;
tax and tithe are for a purposed shared to shield the poor and weak;
past the symptoms of our sickness let the voice of justice speak.
Honor those who loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals,
towel and basin used in service like the Christ who comes and kneels;
in the tending, in the mending may we see the right and fair,
in our common quest for wholeness heal each other by our care.
I believe that this hymn speaks to us today, here in the United States. We are dealing with the same issues and also those of tax reform, racism, gun control, health care, immigration, intolerance of differences, etc. As a country we are in pain; we are scared by hatred and violence; we are greedy and not willing to share; we would rather bully each other than show love; injustice is the priority, not justice. Read again Ms. Murray’s hymn and prayerfully consider the questions below.
What reactions do you have to the line: “dollars ration our compassion?”
Do you agree that taxes ad tithes are to assist the poor? Why or why not?
What systems in our country meant to help people are in trouble and need to be healed? How can this be done?
What is a “kindlier wisdom?” What parables/teachings of Jesus speak to such wisdom?
Name those people you know that are “in service like the Christ.”
What can I do to help the poor, the sick, the needy?
How can I work to overcome hate and violence in my community?
God, please care for and bring healing to our wounded world. Amen
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.