Justice and Peace

A Psalm of Water

How shall we sing a song to God in a dry foreign land?
Parched, lifeless without Water: How shall we sing?
From aching throat, a deep note
Of longing, long and low; the moan of one who
Finds the desert crossing marked by an overturned jug,
A small patch of pitiless dark sand:
Such a song in a dry land.
How shall we sing a song to God
Where the earth is battered by flood?
Mud clogs our throats, each and all call
For rescue, release, relief; an unrelenting song of
Longing; lift us from these rooftops, pluck our children
From the unforeseen waves of destruction: the gates of
Balance unslung, the hinges twisted apart by merciless forces:
Who will sing song in a flooded land?
How shall we sing a song to God beside
The dark river of death? A time of cholera, a season of rains;
Sweet-smelling white death drains the life from the
Body of my Beloved; my very heart is spent and buried,
All my tears are late lament; one last lullaby before
They gently pry the child from my arms;
How can I sing?
How can we sing a song to God
As we drink the treacherously stained water, anticipate
The damaged brains of city children, steeped in
Leached lead and God knows what else;
Shall God be praised by bright promise dimmed?
Or is that God whose voice we hear; the desperate pilgrim,
The warning shout cut short by towering wave, the mother’s broken lullaby,
The tuneless humming of the damaged child?
Come, let us bow down and bend low,
Let us kneel before the Life that made us in Water,
And rain down tears of repentance;
Make each sip a silent song of gratitude,
Pray reverence to flow from cupped brimming hands. Amen.
— Larraine Lauter, O.S.U., Founder of Water With Blessings,