The bounty of a promised land
where every hungry mouth may feed
is seldom shared, for walls now stand
to keep the poor in need.
As workers in a stranger’s field
they glean and gather what they may,
relying on what others yield
to scrape their needs each day.
And sometimes, ‘they’ are close to home:
for though we like to say we’re fine,
in truth we’re sometimes forced to roam,
to walk the borderline.
Suspected, shunned, we learn the fate
of those who clearly don’t belong:
the ones the pundits love to hate,
to blame for all that’s wrong.
Yet deep within God’s Word, we learn
the ‘Godforsaken’ do belong,
the workers get what they can’t earn,
the weak are counted strong.
Thus we, earth’s migrants, find good news:
for what begins as charity
is soon restyled in justice hues
until each captive’s free.
Kinsman-redeemer, quickly come,
and nourish us with wine and bread.
Let all accusers now be dumb:
on us your garment spread.
May we, with all who seek your face
and all who don’t yet know to seek,
be overwhelmed by unearned grace,
your mercy on the meek.
This hymn originated in 2011 and was revised in 2013 and 2017 (© Dominic Grant 2011-2017). It draws mainly upon chapters 2 and 3 of the Old Testament Book of Ruth – a story with a powerful message about how we treat migrants and refugees.
The metre is 126.96.36.199.D, for which there don’t seem to be many hymn tunes around! It’s been used with a locally-written melody – comment here or find me on social media if you’d like details – or you could use a more well-known 188.8.131.52 tune such as “Saffron Walden” or “Misericordia” (in which case this becomes an 8-verse hymn).