“Whatever you do to the least ones of these,
I tell you in truth that you do unto me!”
Lord Jesus, you taught us! May we learn anew
That when we serve others, we also serve you.
When poor, waiting children pray hunger will end,
When those long-forgotten cry out for a friend,
When thirsty ones whisper, “O Lord, where are you?”–
We hear, in their longing, that you’re calling, too.
In prisons and jails, Lord, we find a surprise;
We see you in people whom others despise.
At hospital bedsides we offer a prayer
And find, when we visit the sick, you are there.
When we reach to others in flood-stricken lands
And offer our hearts there, and offer our hands —
We notice, Lord Jesus, the gift of your grace:
We see, in the crowds of the suffering, your face.
“Lord, when did we see you?” Your teaching is clear
That when we serve others, we’re serving you here.
And when your church heeds you and helps those in pain,
Then out of the chaos, hope rises again.
Music: Welsh Folk Hymn, Adapted in Caniadau y Cyssegr, 1839
Text: Copyright © 2008 Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Hymn Note: Susan Sanders, One Great Hour of Sharing administrator, asked for this hymn to be written in honor of Susan Ryan’s service. She served as the director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and also offered leadership in ecumenical work for disaster victims and the poor.
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship (Geneva Press, 2000), Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor (forthcoming from Discipleship Resources, 2009) and co-pastor of Limestone Church in Wilmington, Del.