I asked my English friend,
"What about Africa"
She said. poverty, HIV, it must be hard to live there
She said we were guilty of stealing wealth
So that people were starving,
And that water and schools were needed.
And I tried to write a poem
Asking God for words to say
About things I know nothing of,
Coming as I do, from my comfortable
land of plenty.
You got it wrong!
Africa is very rich
They have more than your country has
Of the things that matter
England can learn from Africa
And I wondered
God, what do you mean?
In my minds eye
God grew a string of pearls
And vivid colours
And the sound of a drum.
Africa beats to a different rhythym
Can't you hear?
Africa rises to praise Me
In the hearts of my people there
There is joy and dancing
They awake me with their singing
They bless me with their raising
Of hymns in the heat of the dawn
And they are willing to praise me
At the end of the evening.
Therefore I will bless them
With riches lost to the western mind.
And I asked my African friend
"Tell me about Africa"
warmth, food, good weather, wildlife,
culture, singing dancing,
enjoying love, life relationships
These things are not lost to us
In my mind's eye,
Africa grew bright.
And God seemed to add:
Pearls of great price!
They still have the gospel
My Son is found on their streets
And in the villages
In the crowds in the churches
I see arms raised to praise me
Hearts that will honour me
A people who have not forgotten to love me
A people who know how to trust me
They are rich with what matters
There is salt in the African earth.
Bringing it flavour.
And in time to come,
They will understand
The riches they Have