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One Day, Naomi and Ruth Crossed the Border (free hymn)

One Day, Naomi and Ruth Crossed the Border
O QUANTA QUALIA (“God of Compassion, in Mercy Befriend Us”)

One day, Naomi and Ruth crossed the border,
Leaving a life filled with sorrow and pain.
Cautious yet hopeful, they journeyed together.
Bravely, they sought to start over again.

What would we do if our loved ones had perished?
What if we found we were hungry and poor?
What would we do if the things we had cherished—
Family and safety and hope— were no more?

Would we remain in the land we had loved there?
Would we stay home simply waiting to die?
Or would we dare to cross over the border?
Would we in faith give the journey a try?

Would there be folks in the land to receive us—
Even if some said, “You’re not from this place”?
Would we cross freely? Would others believe us?
Would people greet us with kindness and grace?

One day, Naomi and Ruth crossed the border,
This day, we see streams of new refugees.
God, you have called us to welcome the stranger;
May we in love welcome people like these.

Biblical Reference: Ruth; Matthew 25:35; Leviticus 19:33-34; Hebrews 13:2;
Tune: Paris Antiphoner, 1681; La Feillee’s Methode du plain-chant, 1808
Text: Copyright © 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Permission is given for free use of this hymn.

Download a PDF of the hymn: One Day, Naomi and Ruth Crossed the Border

Hymn Note: In the story of Ruth and Naomi, we see the danger faced by women who have lost family members, safety in their communities and the means to survive. This is a story that starts with many threats to the well-being of these women, yet many good things happen: Friendships are strengthened. People of courage are able to cross borders to seek a better life. Outsiders are welcomed and incorporated into the community The poor and elderly are cared for. People in need have opportunities to work and earn a living. People of different faiths and backgrounds work and live together. May we seek to be God’s loving, welcoming, healing community in our day.