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John Haynes Holmes: The Voice of God

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Your voice, O God, is calling
Its summons unto all;
As once You spoke in Zion,
So now we hear You call:
Whom shall I send to succor
My people in their need?
Whom shall I send to loosen
The bonds of shame and greed?
I hear my people crying
In cot and mine and slum;
No field or mart is silent,
No city street is dumb.
I see my people falling
In darkness and despair.
Whom shall I send to shatter
The fetters which they bear?
We heed, O God, Your summons,
And answer: Here are we!
Send us upon Your errand!
Let us Your servants be!
Our strength is dust and ashes,
Our years a passing hour;
But You can use our weakness
To magnify our power.
From ease and plenty save us,
From pride of place absolve;
Purge us of low desire,
Lift us to high resolve.
Take us and make us holy,
Teach us Your will and way;
Speak, and behold we answer!
Command, and we obey!

John Haynes Holmes (1879-1964) founded the Community Church of New York and helped to found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. He is remembered for his pacifism, preaching and writing celebrating the work of Mahatma Gandhi.