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"God, How Can We Comprehend?"
A Hymn for Churches Responding to Afghan Relief

The following hymn can be used in congregational and ecumenical services to support relief efforts for the millions of Afghan refugees. We need to do what we can to encourage churches to help them just like we did to help the thousands from September 11th's tragic events.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote this hymn to help ecumenical relief efforts for the refugees from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Church World Service has the original hymn posted on its web site. Carolyn has revised the hymn's wording for use by churches who want to support the relief efforts for the Afghan refugees in 2001.

We commend this hymn to you.

God, How Can We Comprehend?
(Tune: ABERYSTWYTH 7777 D)

God, how can we comprehend— though we've seen them times before--
Lines of people without end fleeing danger, want, and war?
They seek safety anywhere, hoping for a welcome hand!
Can we know the pain they bear?  Help us, Lord, to understand!

You put music in their souls; now they struggle to survive.
You gave each one gifts and goals; now they flee to stay alive.
God of outcasts, may we see how you value everyone,
For each homeless refugee is your daughter or your son.

Lord, your loving knows no bounds; you have conquered death for all.
May we hear beyond our towns to our distant neighbors' call.
Spirit, may our love increase; may we reach to all your earth,
Till your whole world lives in peace; till we see each person's worth.

Biblical References: Luke 15:1, Matthew 25:31-46, John 3:16; 
Colossians 1:20;  John 14:26-27. 

Text: Copyright © by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 1999, rev. ed. 2001. 
All rights reserved.  Copied from "Gifts of Love: New Hymns for 
Today's Worship" by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette,  Geneva Press. 2001.

305 South Broadway, 
Pitman, NJ 08071  
Phone: (856)-589-8444

Permission is given for free use by the author for any congregation
supporting the relief efforts for refugees.   Please include the above
copyright and contact information (in smaller type) when copying the hymn
text or sharing it with others.  Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the co-pastor
of the First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ and author of "Gifts of
Love:  New Hymns for Today's Worship" (Geneva Press, 2000).

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