1. When Israel camped in Sinai, then Moses heard from God:
"This message tell my people, and give them this, my word:
From Egypt I was with you, and carried on my wing,
The whole of your great nation from slavery I did bring.
2. Just like a mother eagle, who helps her young to fly,
I am a mother to you, your needs will I supply;
And you are as my children, the ones who hear my voice,
I am a mother to you, the people of my choice."
3. If God is like an eagle who helps her young to fly,
And God is also Father, what then of you and I?
We have no fear of labels, we have no fear of roles--
If God's own being blends them, we seek the selfsame goals.
4. Our God is not a woman, our God is not a man;
Our God is both and neither, our God is I Who Am.
From all the roles that bind us our God has set us free.
What freedom does God give us? The freedom just to be.
I don't know who wrote this. It's known and sung in the Metropolitan Community Churches, indeed it was being sung as I walked into my first MCC service, and it profoundly affected me, especially after that afternoon I saw an eagle, the first I had ever seen in my urban Seattle neighborhood. I translated it into Esperanto during the Northwest Regional Esperanto Conference, Olympia, Washington, Memorial Day weekend, 1998.
For reasons that remain mysterious to me, after the texts had been sitting seemingly unnoticed on my website for over three years and in this hymnal for at least one, during the two weeks beginning on July 29, 2001, I received information on the authorship of the hymn from three different sources, and I wish to acknowledge here the assistance of James Hayes, Robert Alexander (citing the Rainbow SDA website), and Cindy Wilder in giving Rev. Bernier due credit as the author of this cathartic hymn text. --TTT-Himnaro Cigneta, archived at http://www.geocities.ws/cigneto/thctxt/en/whenisrae1.html
George J. Webb (b. Rushmore Lodge, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, 1803; d. Orange, NJ, 1887) composed WEBB (also known as MORNING LIGHT) on a voyage from England to the United States. The tune was published in The Odeon, a collection of secular music compiled by Webb and Lowell Mason (PHH 96) i…