Who Can Sound The Depths Of Sorrow

Few composers have been able to write congregational worship songs which specifically refer to the realities of modern day life without falling into clumsy language or laboured sentiment. Graham was asked to write this hymn by the pro-life charity CARE Trust. The commission presented him with a challenge:

'It wasn't an easy song to write. I felt I had to balance the need for call to repentance over abortion with an emphasis on compassion. In any congregation there may be people who have been party to an abortion. I tried to capture the 'go and sin no more' spirit that Christ adopted to the woman caught in adultery. I also attempted to capture an attitude of humble identification as opposed to self-righteous condemnation'.

Who can sound the depths of sorrow
In the Father heart of God
For the children we've rejected
For the lives so deeply scarred?
And each light that we've extinguished
Has brought darkness to our land
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

We have scorned the truth you gave us
We have bowed to other lords
We have sacrificed the children
On the altars of our gods
O let truth again shine on us
Let your holy fear descend
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

(Men only)
Who can stand before your anger?
Who can face your piercing eyes?
For you love the weak and helpless
And you hear the victims' cries
Yes, you are a God of justice
And your judgement surely comes
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord

(Women only)
Who will stand against the violence?
Who will comfort those who mourn?
In an age of cruel rejection
Who will build for love a home?
Come and shake us into action
Come and melt our hearts of stone
Upon your people, upon your people
Have mercy, Lord

Who can sound the depths of mercy
In the Father heart of God?
For there is a Man of sorrows
Who for sinners shed his blood
He can heal the wounds of nations
He can wash the guilty clean
Because of Jesus, because of Jesus
Have mercy, Lord

Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1988 Make Way Music,