“Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land”
I did watch the inauguration today. Normally I’m not into that sort of thing, and my dh has often wondered what kind of rock it is that I’m living under. But I crawled out today and turned on the TV. The lovely music of Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill alone was worth watching, but those words spoken by Rev. Lowery in his benediction caught my attention.
They come from a poem (later turned into a song sometimes called the “Black National Anthem”) written by James Weldon Johnson: Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou hast brought us thus far on the way.
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray;
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land!
I may not agree with President Obama’s politics, and not everyone liked the end of Rev. Lowery’s benediction when he used a civil rights chant. But what powerful and beautiful words in that poem.