“If only I had known the cost of human greed,
Perhaps I would have reached out more to those in need.
But now I see the truth across the great divide!
If only I had known and changed,” the rich man cried.
If only we could see which bargains in the store
Are made in dismal sweatshops that oppress the poor.
For each subsistence wage—each tiny, crippling stitch—
Makes wider the divide between the poor and rich.
And, too, if we could hear a mother’s lullaby;
She’s singing now to calm her hungry toddler’s cry.
For rich ones came one day, took land and water rights,
And left the poor with hopeless days and hungry nights.
If only we could learn what keeps us wanting more:
We build our bigger barns so we’ll feel more secure.
But you alone, O God, give true security;
Possessed by our possessions, we cannot be free.
O Christ, if we could know God’s will for all the earth!
And yet, by your own Spirit, you have shown God’s truth:
“Do justice, help the poor, share life and love and land,
And when you see the hungry, open wide your hand.”
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has been a pastor in rural, small town, suburban, and city churches; she has also served as a hospice chaplain, a hospital chaplain, and a school bus aide helping children with special needs. She and her husband Bruce are pastors of the First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, NY.
Carolyn is a gifted hymn writer who has written over 400 hymns. These hymns have been sung by congregations throughout the United States and around the world — from the Washington National Cathedral to St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland to St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa to small town churches and small household congregations; they have also been sung at national church and international ecumenical meetin… Go to person page >
Display Title: "If Only I Had Known"First Line: "If only I had known the cost of human greedTune Title: LEONIAuthor: Carolyn Winfrey GilletteMeter: 22.214.171.124 DScripture: Deuteronomy 15:11-12; Luke 16:19-31Date: 2009Subject: Justice | ; Wealth and Possessions |