We Walk in Love – Deanna Witkowski and Lemuel Colon
We walk in love united in purpose
We join our hands and lift up one voice
We speak the truth with strength and compassion
resounding with hope, with courage and joy.
We cry for peace and rights for all people
We welcome friends from far and near
We fight for those whose voices are silenced
Resisting in faith until all are free.
We dream a world of justice and kindness
We build a bridge creating new paths
We march with pride as all walk together
Embracing each one, we boldly stand.
Reflections on “We Walk in Love” from Deanna Witkowski:
In early 2017, I responded to a call for scores for a new collection of social justice songs being curated by Abbie Betinis, Tesfa Wondemagegnhehu, and Ahmed Anzaldúa. The songs to be selected as part of a new movement called Justice Choir would be offered free of charge for anyone to sing for non-commercial use: at concerts, marches, protests, and in houses of worship.
The idea was to have accessible, easy-to-learn songs that speak into the moment that we are living in now, and to provide opportunities for all to create community by singing together. When I saw a Facebook post from Abbie about the call for scores, I immediately responded by sitting down at the piano. I wrote and harmonized a simple tune in 3/4- not rangy, no big jumps, something that everyone could sing.
Next, I went to my living room couch with a large sketchbook on my lap. I started writing lists of nouns: “love, purpose, voice, compassion, truth, bridge, justice, kindness.” Then I pulled out the text to James Weldon Johnson’s hymn, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and started adding more nouns: “hope, faith.” I began a list of verbs: “dream, stand, fight, cry, walk, join, speak.”
My boyfriend sat with me when I got stuck on a phrase or two and contributed to the lyric. We sang the three verses to each other multiple times before I returned to the piano and recorded myself singing and playing the song, “We Walk in Love.”
There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy
it speaks of how “the love of God is broader than the measure of our mind,” and it laments how we make God’s love too narrow by false limits of our own conception.
One commentator has described the text as: “If ‘Love Wins’ were a hymn.”
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice, which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgment given.
For the love of God is broader than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful, we would gladly trust God’s Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving for the goodness of our Lord.
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