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911: Prayer for America

Jimmy Tingle September, 2001

 There’s a hole in the tip of Manhattan
 A hole in the soul of America. 
 A hole in the center of our psyche
 A hole in the foundation of our confidence 
 There’s a hole in the faith of our country 
 That fills churches in search of a God
 There’s a crack in the national mirror
 Empty chairs around the family table
 Dark houses of our missing neighbors 
 Vacant desks of our absent workers 
 On our streets, 
 There’s a wail from the widows with candles 
 Sobs from the orphaned with pictures 
 The face breaks on the lawyer, the dead women’s husband 
 Flags and flowers for the public servants 
 There’s a hole in the soul of America 
 Afraid with the televised pictures
 Numb with the morning papers
 Grieving for the land they loved 
 Grieving for the land they lost
 Grieving for the innocent victims 
 Grieving for the broken families 
 Grieving for the friends still weeping
 Grieving for the ones who fight fire
 Grieving for the ones who fight crime
 Grieving for the City that never sleeps 
 Grieving for the City on a Hill
 There’s a hole in the soul of Humanity 
 And I pray for all of our leaders 
 Good people and well intentioned 
 Condemned to retaliation,
 Doomed to retribution 
 Sentenced to seek revenge
 And I pray for those who go marching
 Toward an enemy they can’t even see
 Brave in the shadow of their fathers, Brave in the duty of history
 Brave in the Madness, Brave in the Sadness, Brave in the Blindness 
 And I pray to the Prophets of History
 Privy to the word of God
 Moses on the Mountain with those 10 commandments  
 We all tend to ignore them because their so damn inconvenient 
 Jesus on the Cross for the Love of his neighbors, 
 Jesus on the Cross for the Love of his enemies
 And we love all of our Neighbors, when it’s in the National Interest
 And we love our enemies when in the National Interest
 Mohammed in the Koran with words that escape 
 Fanatic followers abusing religion with hate
 But the Koran is clear: “If you destroy one life it’s as if you destroyed the whole world
 If you save one life, it’s as if you have saved the whole world”
 And God Cries from the tablets on Top of Mt. Sinai
 “Save the World”
 And God cries His last breath from the Cross on Good Friday
  “Save the World”
 And God Cries from the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem 
 “Save the world”
 And God cries and God cries, and God cries 
 There is a hole in the soul of His Children
 Love can fill the hole
 And God is Love
 And we ask, where is God?
 Strangers with shovels on the Tip of Manhattan
 Fill the hole
 Firefighters from Boston and Chicago drive to New York to help find their brothers and sisters 
 Fill the hole
 Hollywood stars raise millions for victims 
 Benefits and fund-raisers and letters and cards 
 Boston Red Sox fans in Fenway Park sing “we love NY”
 Fill the hole
 And the Mayor
 Fills the hole
 And the governor 
 Fills the hole
 And the president
 Fills the hole
 And the media 
 Fills the hole
 The interfaith prayer services on the steps of city hall 
 Fill the hole
 Neighbors in the park with candles
 Try to comfort the missing girl’s roommates
 She was on the 106th floor that Tuesday morning 
 Candlelight vigils for peace 
 Fill the hole, Young people in uniform for war
 Fill the hole
 Flags at half mast and flags in our windows 
 The Star-Spangled Banner and the prayer of St. Francis
 The Star of David, the teachings of Islam and the Letters of Paul 
 Fill the hole 
 And the hole in our soul is our “Cross to bear” 
 And through love and service, mercy and compassion, We Fill the Hole 

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