Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life (ELW 719)
1 Where cross the crowded ways of life,
where sound the cries of race and clan,
above the noise of selfish strife,
we hear your voice, O Son of Man.
2 In haunts of wretchedness and need,
on shadowed thresholds dark with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vision of your tears.
3 From tender childhood’s helplessness,
from human grief and burdened toil,
from famished souls, from sorrow’s stress,
your heart has never known recoil.
4 The cup of water giv’n for you
still holds the freshness of your grace;
yet long these multitudes to view
the strong compassion in your face.
5 O Master, from the mountainside
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
among these restless throngs abide;
oh, tread the city’s streets again;
6 Till all the world shall learn your love
and follow where your feet have trod;
till glorious from your heav’n above
shall come the city of our God.
I have liked this hymn and I have been haunted by this hymn for the same reason; it deals with God and life, as it is. There have been times when I have been filled with a great love and hope for the great variety of people God has created in this world. At other times, and more often, I have been angry and frustrated with the chaos, greed, and violence this great variety of people whom God has created have inflicted on this world. Why does God simply weep at the pain and suffering of the world rather than just do something about it? Only God knows. And we know that the compassion of God often comes to us in another human face. God dwells among us, this restless throng of people whom God has created. God has put into our hearts this vision of the heart of God, to learn the love of God, and to follow, as best we can, the path where Jesus the Good Shepherd leads us.
O Master, make haste to heal these hearts of pain. Teach us to learn your love and follow your leading as we live in this world as it is. Amen.