Where lilies of the field once bloomed
the land is mined for war,
and signs warn people not to walk
where they have walked before.
Between the houses shelters stand
on guard against attack.
Is this our childrenâ€™s legacy?
Is there no turning back?
Where songbirds sang sweet melodies
the hills in silence stand,
save for the mournful winds that blow
across a sea of sand.
The trees that held the soil are gone,
the streams that once flowed free.
Is barren desert wilderness
our childrenâ€™s legacy?
A soldier, older than his age,
says, â€œTell me, tell me, pray,
Must I stand guard forever or
will there be peace some day?
Will new streams flow, the desert bloom,
the hills again rejoice
with joyful songs and laughter, and
a small childâ€™s happy voice?â€
What answer can we give him, God?
Will war and fighting cease,
and spears and swords be turned at last
into the tools of peace,
or will self-righteous foes prevail,
despite our childrenâ€™s cries,
and violence erupt again
before their very eyes?
Our children share your vision, God,
they dream your prophetsâ€™ dreams
of mountain forests, fertile fields,
and everflowing streams,
of peaceful homes where neighbors now
are enemies no more.
We pray they do not hope in vain.
God, bring an end to war.
Source: The Song Lingers On: new hymns for our journey of faith #8