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In Isolation: April 18, “Hear Us, Creator, as We Pray”

An introduction to this “In Isolation” blog series appears at the top of the March 22 post.

I’m thinking a lot about food today. Stories have begun to bubble up in frightening ways for those able to see the implications which lie within items not yet making it to prominent sections of the news cycle. Major meat processing plants are being closed due to epidemics within ’the’ pandemic. Grocery stores, fearing for the safety of both customers and staff, are suggesting that households should be limited to one person shopping, once per week. Farmers are beginning to receive government subsidies totalling billions of dollars as an attempt to prevent more farms from foreclosing, resulting in banks becoming property rich — and once-productive land lying untilled.

Ear worms. All day today, I hummed the melody married to Walter’s hymn text titled “Hear Us, Creator, as We Pray”. Doing so kept driving home to me the message of his poem.

I have a friend who, like Walter, is also a former United Church of Canada Moderator. Gary has the incredible gift of being able to spontaneously call up and recite poetry that is just right for the moment. I’ve imagined that his brain must have been created with extra expansion slots capable of receiving multi terabyte SSDs solely dedicated to storage of poetry. I’d be thrilled to have just one 8″ floppy drive with that capability.

I rely on the melody of a song or hymn to trigger the words for me. However, once the melody has begun silently spinning inside my head, I find it quite remarkable how well I can recall the words associated with that music. Maybe that’s one of the things that makes music such an important part of faith life for many of us. When we hear, sing or hum a familiar melody not only do we recall the words, but we can be transported to important life moments. We may remember the first time we heard it. Or, perhaps, we associate it with a person whose presence in our life was deeply treasured.

Click to visit “Hear Us, Creator, as We Pray” and read Walter’s reflection on the song. It includes a special tribute to his father who had a tremendous passion and respect for the land he tilled.

Hear us, Creator, as we pray
for those who till the soil;
Grant us a sense of growing worth,
give purpose to our toil.

The world has hungry people yet
our soils produce good grain.
God, use our skills and practiced arts
to take away our pain.

Our work, our knowledge, and our plans,
we offer for your use;
teach us to live in such a way
this land knows no abuse.

Our heritage of fields and herds
demands our thankful praise.
God, bless our farming enterprise,
the labor of our days.

Faithful with those who pioneered
these fertile lands we till,
we bless you God of humankind,
whose purpose guides us still.

Words Copyright © 1974 by Walter Farquharson.
Administered by Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, Illinois • USA