prayer of an elderly slave woman

Dear Massa Jesus,
We all beg you to come call on us this day.
We is nothin’ but poor Ethiopian women
  and people ain’t think much about us.
We ain’t trust any of them great high people
  who come to church,
  but we do trust in the one great Massa,
  much greater than Massa Lincoln,
  you ain’t ashamed to care for us African people.
Come to us, dear Massa Jesus.
The sun is hot, the road is long and sandy
  and we ain’t got no buggy to send and fetch you.
But Massa, you remember how you walked
  that hard walk up Calvary and weren’t weary
  but thought about us all that way.
We know you ain’t weary to come to us.
We picked out the thorns, the prickles, the briers,
  the backslidin’ and the quarreling and the sin
  out of your path so they can’t hurt
  your pierced feet no more.
Come to us, dear Massa Jesus.
We all ain’t got no cool water to give you when you’re thirsty.
You know, Massa, the drought is so long
  and the well is so low, there ain’t nothin’ but mud to drink.
But we’re gonna take the communion cup
  and fill it with the tears of repentance,
  and love clean out of our hearts.
That’s all we have to give you, good Massa.
And Massa Jesus, you say you’re gonna stand at the door and knock.
But you ain’t gonna stand at our door, Massa, and knock.
We set the door plum open for you and watch up the road to see you.
    [one woman rose quietly and set the door wide open]
Come, Massa Jesus, Come!
We know that you are near,
  our hearts are all just tremblin’, tremblin’
  we are so glad to have you here.
And Massa, our church ain’t good enough for you to sit down in,
  but stop by the door just one minute, dear Massa Jesus,
  and whisper one word to our hearts – one good word –
  and we will listen.

Aunt Jane’s prayer, modernized somewhat

 _______________

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!

 

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