How Long? A Litany for Peace.

Two years ago, I wrote this litany in response to the Treyvon Martin ruling. In the wake of the Charleston shooting last night, its words seem to be especially relevant. May it bring some peace.

Refrain (Sung)


How long will injustice overwhelm your people? And how long will your people be silent?


How long will we wait until justice prevails–until you are feared more than corrupt laws and unjust court systems? until your peace is more coveted than power and money? How long until love speaks louder than hatred?


How long until we all come to defend what is righteous, instead of defending the status quo? until we ignite flames to melt injustice, instead of pretending we don’t feel its frigid breeze against our skin?


We know, oh God, that you love justice, mercy, and kindness. How long until we learn to love them, too? We know that you walk with the stranger, the outsider, the poor, the oppressed. How long until we walk with them, too?


Hear us, God. Move us, God. Empower us, that our whispers of hope might become shouts for justice–shouts of truth so true that it cannot be ignored, shouts of love so deep that it cannot be overcome, shouts of your spirit so present that you cannot be denied.


And may those shouts someday turn to laughter–the calm, joyful laughter of a peaceful land, where wolf lies down with lamb, neighbor with neighbor, stranger with stranger. And until then, may we keep praying, “How long?”



May it be so.


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