A Psalm For the Twentieth Century

by Helen Graebner

My pastures
are not green.
They are covered with grey cement
or black asphalt.

The clear waters
run under ground
through large pipes
and gush from faucets
when the handle is turned.

The table before me
may be set with pizza
or frozen dinners
heated in a microwave

My enemies
are not lions or wolves.
They are the violences of human kind
and of nature itself.
They are indifferences and greed
and ignorance and prejudices.
And, yes, too often
my enemy is myself.

The Lord fills me with His love
as he did the Psalmist David.
He cares when
my body and soul are hurting
and when I am afraid.
When the stresses
of the World become too great
He gives me strength
to cope with them.
He leads me amidst
the city traffic
and beside the tall buildings.

And some day I shall
go to dwell in the House of the Lord
light and kindness and love
will surround me

Twenty centuries ago
the angels sang to the shepherds.
Today we listen for the voices
in our churches and on the busy street corners
But they only sound in our hearts --
Peace on Earth!

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