Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Still, Small Voice

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on this day back in 1968. The night before he was killed, in a speech to followers at Mason Temple (see photo) King stated prophetically that he could "see the promised land" but that he might not get there with us. He didn't, but the civil rights movement carried onward, inspired by his memory.

Martin and Jesus must have been exchanging high fives and hallelujahs yesterday when the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, told a multinational group of young people in Strasbourg, France that he plans to set an agenda "to seek the goal of a world without nuclear weapons." Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we will be free at last from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

In memory of Dr. King, I want to leave you with the words of this wonderful song to reflect upon as we enter Holy Week. Are we listening to the many loud voices tempting us to stray and place our trust in other things, or are we open to that still small voice?

A Still, Small Voice
(Music and original lyrics by David Wilcox, additional lyrics by Bob Franke/Charlie King)

In a still small voice in the middle of the night,
Brother Martin heard the simple truth
And he followed its pleading, though it led to a crossroads,
Parting in the days of my youth.
From the heart of my city came a single scream
And I heard it through all the white noise.
And the papers told us that they'd killed The Dream,
But they never killed the still small voice.

All the lies come at you in a million ways
Some you hear and some you tell yourself
And they say that virtue is a pile of gold
And that weapons are a nations wealth
But when kings stand naked in their ugly schemes
Will the poor of this world rejoice
Will they sell their children down a bloody stream
Or will they listen to a still small voice

Now the one-eyed bandit in your living room
Will convince you that you have no time
And it will swear to take you on your one free ride
While it's looking for your one last dime
But the light of heaven is a simple gift
And you can see it when you make that choice
It will shine like riches in your inmost heart
But it will speak in a still small voice

Oh the skies will open when the trumpet sounds
and its echo will shake these halls
And these stones so silent as they ring us round
they will shatter when they hear that call
And our chains will clatter when they hit the ground
and the people make a joyful noise
But when My Lover comes to call me home
it will be in a still, small voice


  1. This song was written in full by Bob Franke. David Wilcox and/or Charlie King may have performed or recorded it, but credit for the song belongs entirely to Franke.

  2. Yes, this is Bob Franke's song.