When the Saints

Lord, I have a heavy burden of all I’ve seen and know.

It’s more than I can handle,

but Your word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones.

And I can’t let it go.

.

And when I’m weary and overwrought with so many battles left unfought,

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard.

I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars.

And when the saints go marching in, I want to be one of them.

Lord, it’s all that I can’t carry and cannot leave behind.

It all can overwhelm me,

but when I think of all who’ve gone before and lived a faithful life,

their courage compels me.

And when I’m weary and overwrought with so many battles left unfought,

I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard.

I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars.

I see the shepherd Moses in the pharaoh’s court,

I hear his call for freedom for the people of the Lord.

And when the saints go marching in, I want to be one of them.

And when the saints go marching in, I want to be one of them.

I see the long quiet walk along the underground railroad;

I see the slave awakening to the value of her soul.

I see the young missionary and the angry spear;

I see his family returning with no trace of fear.

I see the long, hard shadows of Calcutta’s nights;

I see the sister standing by the dying man’s side.

I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor;

I see the man with a passion come kicking down the door.

I see the Man of Sorrow and His long troubled road;

I see the world on His shoulders and my easy load.

This song, by Sara Groves, is from one of the CDs I got for Christmas, Tell Me What You Know.  Many of the songs, like so many of her other songs, hit me hard and echo my heart.  There’s nothing quite like music that says what your heart does! 

I love how this song celebrates the way God has used and is using His saints to bring justice throughout the ages.   It hits on the tension between the burden we are called to as God’s people (first stanza) and the truth that Jesus carries the heavy end (last stanza and Matthew 11:30).  How amazing that God calls us to partner with Him in seeing His will done on earth as it is in heaven!

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2 thoughts on “When the Saints

  1. At first as I was reading the song, I thought you wrote it. I thought ‘WOW’ then you mentioned it was a song, not written by you. I still thought ‘WOW, God is good’

  2. This song has been escaping me for days and it’s lyrics cry out worship for the Lord. I always miss the title and artist while im listening at work. I just got home and put this line, “I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta…” and came upon your blog. Whenever i hear this song i just rejoice because I know that God is always working as his word says, “He never sleeps or slumbers.” Thanks for having this site and for helping me find the title and artist of this song. Praise the Lord!

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