I've been in a bit of a songwriting slump for a while. Like, most of my life, if I'm honest about it. But I'm leading the Praise & Worship team at my church these days, though, so at least I'm musically active.
The other day I was trying to decide which tunes the P&W team should lead at the following Sunday's worship service, when suddenly a whole different line of thought entered my head. My church is located in a really arts-focused area of Charlotte. The demographics here are a weird mix — like someone pouring a pitcher of young-hip-and-liberal-minded into a jug of impoverished-minority-down-and-out. Physically, socially, emotionally, educationally and financially, this is like mixing oil and water. But spiritually, they all — we all — need the same thing. That fact, as well as my own struggle with being a useful catalyst for spiritual change in others, resulted an hour or so later in the following:
Make Me a Witness
by: C. Michael Pilato
At a sidewalk cafe sits a modern-day, American man. / A triumph of evolution going nowhere as fast as he can. / Now there's surely a place, to lay out a case of my own. / Could it be right here between iced cappuccino and scones? / Who is my brother? Is he just the one like me? / Who is my neighbor? Are they just the ones I see? / And is the last chance they'll have to meet Jesus?
God grant them all a place in my heart / Next to Your Spirit, there in the deepest part. / Make me a witness, a model of Jesus, / And teach me to point this world to You.
There's a girl on the corner, a stone's throw away from our pews. / She knows of a Saviour, but He's of no practical use. / And like Mary of long ago, she's bound by an evil inside. / But oh, Magdalena, would your story bring hope to this child? / Who is my sister? Is she just the one like me? / Who is my neighbor? Are they just the ones I see? / And is the last chance they'll have to meet Jesus?
Somebody's wishing that they could have peace, love, and joy in their soul. / Somebody listen, 'cause I don't know when I'll be feeling so bold.
God grant them all a place in my heart / You know their value, you've made them a work of art. / Drive me to witness, to model my Jesus, / And teach me to point this world to You.