Friday, December 29, 2006

God in a baby's hand: lyrics by John Bell

Woodblock: Nativity with Midwife (1913) by Eric Gill 1882-1940

Hat tip to Karin, a fellow blogger, who kindly corrected my information!

"God in a baby's hand"

I sought him dressed in finest clothes,
where money talks and status grows;
but power and wealth he never chose:
it seemed he lived in poverty.

I sought him in the safest place,
remote from crime or cheap disgrace;
but safety never knew his face:
it seemed he lived in jeopardy.

I sought him where the spotlights glare,
where crowds collect and critics stare;
but no one knew his presence there:
it seemed he lived in obscurity.

Then, in the streets, we heard the word
which seemed, for all the world, absurd:
that those who could no gifts afford
were entertaining Christ the Lord.

And so, distinct from all we'd planned,
among the poorest of the land,
we did what few might understand:
we touched God in a baby's hand.

We can do likewise, as we are called to do for those that Christ Jesus loved


This poem/lyric was found on a spot on Brit named John Bell.


Karin said...

Hi Catherine, I think you'll find the words are from a song by John Bell, whose name, Freedom Bound put underneath them.

I think the reference to Eric Gill and the title, nativity with midwife must refer to the picture he put above the text.

It is a thought-provoking song. I'm trying to remember which Wild Goose CD it is on. I'm pretty sure I have it on one.

John Bell is part of the Iona Community as well as a minister of the Church of Scotland. He and his friend Graham Maule have written many wonderful, contempary, Christian songs together, often using Scottish folk tunes for the music.

Catherine + said...

Karin, thank you so much for setting me straight! I saw your second comment and I was just republishing the post with corrections. Do let me know if I got it right! Hat tip to you!


Karin said...

Looks fine now, Catherine. :)

Freedom Bound said...

hi folks - It's on the Album "Innkeepers and lightsleepers" by the Iona Community - actually called the "Carol of the Epiphany".

They are awesome words aren't they?

Warmest wishes for the New Year to you both.....

(who can also be reached on

Karin said...

Thanks for comment on my blog, Catherine. Madpriest has been known to visit, but I don't think he does anymore.