This hymn is the first in a fresh crop of devotional prayer-songs on topics I have prepared beforehand to study, brainstorm, and attempt to address in an edifying way. To give you an insight into the way I work, my impetus in this instance for turning the intention into an action was an evening when I had too much of a headache to concentrate on the book I wanted to read. I made good use of the evening anyway, the same way I have employed some recent restless nights or a long weekend sick at home. Verily, tentatio is a fine seasoning for oratio and meditatio. The original tune I wrote for this hymn is titled EMANCIPATION.
Made paralytics walk,
Gave vigor to the lame.
Now turn Your heart to the addicted:
Their helplessness unlock;
Their broken lives reframe.
You, Christ, set free the demon-fettered,
Restored the tortured mind,
Made frenzied members calm.
Let gall and wormwood now be bettered:
The captive will unbind;
Soothe it with holy balm.
You healed the deaf, the dumb, the sightless,
And made the leper clean -
So, Christ, the Scriptures tell.
To those bound, blemished, gagged and lightless
Let this at last be seen:
Your word can make them well.
You said, "Your faith has healed, yes, saved you"
To many who in prayer
From You sought, asked and knocked.
Would that Your Spirit now revealed You
To some who hardly dare
Suppose that door unlocked!
You bade the dead arise; obeying,
They quit the bed of grief
And joined in joyful speech.
Send forth Your living voice, now saying,
"Wake from your unbelief;
Behold, your prison's breach!"
You, Christ, went bound, betrayed and beaten,
Derided and denied,
To bear our sin and curse.
The medicine here drunk and eaten,
Drawn from the death You died,
Heals all our woe and worse.
You, Christ, poured out as a libation
To pay in full our debt,
Have made salvation sure.
Now let men's cry for liberation
With cleansing grace be met;
Wash them and make them pure.
You, Son of God, Word uncreated,
Were born the woman's seed,
Our flesh and blood to raise
To God's right hand, where You are seated.
Hear now, as those You freed
Cry out in prayer and praise.