Suffer the little children

In response to the border crisis, hymn-writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote the following for the Presbyterian Church. In my opinion, it is a very powerful reflection. The melody is Finlandia, 10-10-10-10-10-10, the same tune as “This is my Land” and “Be Still, My Soul.”

The Children Come

The children come, not sure where they are going;

Some little ones have seen their siblings die.

They’ve traveled north — a tide that keeps on growing,

A stream of life beneath the desert sky.

Their welcome here?  Detention, overflowing.

O Lord of love, now hear your children’s cry!


The children come in search of something better;

They’ve traveled here with nothing in their hands.

On one boy’s belt, a number carved in leather

Leads to a phone, a brother here, a plan.

They come alone—or sometimes band together;

They bring a plea that we will understand.


O Christ our Lord, you welcomed in the stranger;

You blessed the children, telling them to stay.

Be in the desert, with the tired and injured;

Be at the border where they are afraid.

Be on each bus where children sense the danger,

As angry crowds are shouting, “Go away!”


God, let each one know justice, peace and welcome —

And may your gift of mercy start with me.

For unto such as these belongs your kingdom,

And in each child, it is your face we see.

May we, your church, respond in truth and action,

And with you, Lord, say, “Let them come to me.”


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