Saturday, 7 May 2016

Jeremiah on Liberation

This poem was inspired by these two verses, and pondering the nature of freedom, and things we have forgotten. It didn't come out the way I intended, but sometimes that happens when writing, that the subject changes as you write. I had no idea it would be global, and address the refugee crisis, and the orphan children until they appeared in the poem, unbidden, and crying out for help. It also addresses the fact that we consume so much while others go so hungry, and the moral call for compassion.

Isa_61:1  The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me To bring good news to the poor, To heal the broken-hearted, To announce release to captives And freedom to those in prison.

Jer_34:17  So now, I, the LORD, say that you have disobeyed me; you have not given all Israelites their freedom. Very well, then, I will give you freedom: the freedom to die by war, disease, and starvation. I will make every nation in the world horrified at what I do to you. 

The prophet Jeremiah makes the point that liberation must mean giving freedom to all, and that shutting away from sight other calls for freedom or silencing the voices calling for help is a betrayal of that freedom.

Matthew Henry's commentary says: "God's compassions towards us should engage our compassions towards our brethren; we must release as we are released, forgive as we are forgiven, and relieve as we are relieved. "

Jeremiah on Liberation

How soon freedom is forgotten, lost:
The price once paid, the five year cost;
And now there is liberty that is blind,
Uncaring, lacking compassion, unkind;
The rich complain about having to pay,
While the poor struggle to have a say,
And are left behind, in a lottery of life;
Liberation means for all, not just a few,
Who gather for a service, take a pew;
And the great and good make a speech,
About how great liberty is, but to reach
Those struggling with bad housing, poor
Knocking to be heard, standing at the door;
Behold I stand at the door, but it is locked:
And entry denied, immigration is blocked,
Even as children, dying as refugees, starve,
Not part of the pie, some so carefully carv;e
The rich man in his castle, poor man at gate,
By happenstance, by twist and turn of fate;
Hear this: I proclaim good news to the poor,
And say enough is enough, time for no more,
Consuming the world while so many are unfed;
Remember the five long years, and those dead,
Who died of malnutrition, hunger, and hope
Seemed fading, but survivors managed to cope,
Until the good ship Vega came to their aid,
And now they wring their hands, we are afraid!
We cannot take any in, not even a young child,
Orphaned, homeless, with no one left to care,
Because one would set a precedent, we fear;
And yet they will be there, proud and the good,
In Liberation square, making speeches. Would
That they could see how Compassion calls out,
And how even the graves of the dead will shout
For justice, for mercy, for an outstretched hand:
For time is running out, like many grains of sand;
The smug speeches of the well-fed do not sit well,
With hunger pangs of orphan children in living hell,
Surviving in shacks on poles, and dusty death
Comes closer with each day, with every breath;
And so this song is done, the word is spoken:
Jeremiah in his prison cell, in chains, not broken:
Freedom to die by war, disease and starvation,
Or to seek justice, compassion, consecration.

No comments: