Let The Church be The Church again.
Let it be the dream it was meant to be.
Let it be where the people come who are in pain,
Seeking a safe place where they themselves can be.
(The Church was never The Church to me…)
Let The Church be the family that the Father dreamed—
Let it be that great place of Love,
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme,
That any woman be crushed by one above.
(It never was The Church to me…)
O, let The Church be a Church where Liberty,
Is crowned with no false prophetic peace,
But Hope is real, and the Gospel is free,
Where healing is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been healing here for me – nor freedom in this supposed place of the free…)
“Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?”
I am the poor woman, fooled and ripped apart,
I am the woman bearing a soul with savage scars.
I am the victim driven from the pew,
I am the survivor clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old game I knew,
Of protect the strong and crush the weak.
I am the young woman once full of strength and hope,
Now tangled up, confused and bound in chains,
By profit – power – gain…
Of grab my body, Of grab my soul to satisfy your own need!
Of work the crowd! To take your pay!
Of owning everything for your own greed – including me. That’s right – I said me.
I am the woman, bondslave to the man.
I am the sex worker sold to the machine,
I am the girl, servant to you all.
“I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—”
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, can’t you see my tears?
I am the woman who never got ahead,
The poorest woman bartered and battered through the years.
Where is Spirit of the Lord is, is it the home of the free?
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions who are abused today?
The millions who sit silenced, smeared, and blamed?
And all the hymns we’ve sung,
And all the protests we’ve held,
And all the prayers we’ve said,
The millions who have nothing but their pain—
Who lie down to sleep only to wake up with dread,
Except for hope… hope that’s almost dead.
O, let The Church Be the Church again—
The Church that never has been yet—
And yet must be — the church where every woman is free.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose— and you do…
The feel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on women’s lives,
We must take back our church again,
I say it plain,
The Church never was The Church to me…
And yet I swear this oath—
The Church must be!