The Streets (For Josephine Butler, Social Reformer)

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
(Matthew 21:31-32)

There are streets which seem too dark to walk
And hearts that seem too dark to enter,
Souls that appear too dark to redeem,
Businesses too dark to contain.

There are sorrows too dark for us to imagine
And sins dark beyond comprehension,
Compromises too dark to forgive,
Apathy too dark to excuse.

There is a world too dark to save itself
And evils too dark to ignore.
There are hearts transformed by a love that endures
And enters the depths of our shame.

There are lives of quiet heartbreak and lives
Of polite, middle-class indifference,
Tragedies lurking two streets away
And grace longing to be enacted.

There is mercy that flows to the worst of us all
And wanders the streets to give refuge;
There are hearts that are closed to the truth of our souls
And hear not the tears of Christ’s mercy.

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