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Georgia Harkness: The Agony of God

I listen to Your agony, O God;
I who am fed,
Who never yet went hungry for a day.
I see the dead,
The children starved for lack of bread;
I see and try to pray.
I listen to Your agony, O God;
I who am warm,
Who never yet have lacked a sheltered home.
In dull alarm,
The dispossessed of hut and farm
Aimless and transient roam.
I listen to Your agony, O God;
I who am strong,
With health and love and laughter in my soul.
I see a throng
Of stunted children reared in wrong
And yearn to make them whole.
I listen to Your agony, O God;
But know full well
That not until I share their bitter cry,
Earth’s pain and hell,
Can You within my spirit dwell
To bring Your kingdom nigh.

Georgia Harkness (1891-1974) has been called one of the first significant American female theologians and the first woman professor at an American seminary. In addition to poetry, she published multiple books about such topics as Christian ethics and prayer. Harkness was integral in the movement to gain ordination for women in her own tradition, the Methodist church.

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