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.
Mary Nelson Keithahn, a retired United Church of Christ ordained pastor and church educator, has been a curriculum writer-editor, journalist, and lyricist for musical dramas and anthems. She still works out of her home in Rapid City, South Dakota, as a free-lance writer. In 2016 she published Elfie: Adventures on the Midwest Frontier, a chapter book for children, and Embracing the Light: Reflectioins on God’s Holy Word, a collection of meditations for individual or small group use. Augsburg Fortress also published Sing the Stories of God’s NEW People, the third in a trilogy of Bible story-based collections of songs for young children, written with her longtime colleague, John D. Horman. The two have written over a hundred hymns togethe… Go to person page >
Display Title: Where Lilies of the Field Once BloomedFirst Line: Where lilies of the field once bloomedTune Title: PLEA FOR PEACEAuthor: Mary Nelson KeithahnMeter: 86,86 DScripture: Psalm 65:9-13; Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 35:1-10; Micah 4:2-4; Acts 2:17Date: 2003Subject: Peace and Justice | Palestine/Israel conflictSource: The Song Lingers On