Jean Malcolm, priest, has been in Queensland, supporting the people of Grantham as they deal with the chaos, emotion and dislocation following the floods.
Jean has written a powerful Psalm for Grantham, based on Psalm 137.
By the waters of Lockyer Creek
we sat down and wept
when we remembered Grantham.
On the Eucalypts there hung our lives for the world to see,
flotsam and jetsam left high in the branches by the flood waters.
Captives on our roofs and hilltop islands we were;
and now the media come asking us for “songs”;
melodies in our heaviness…
“What was it like? Paint us a picture. Share all the gory details.
How has it all affected you? Tell us, how was it for Grantham?”
How can we say anything in this foreign land,
this devastated space that once was a safe and secure home?
Planted fields sinking under tonnes of sticky mud,
waterlogged spoiled crops stinking in the hot Queensland sun,
houses and shops tossed into crumbling heaps
and cars and machinery crushed by water’s might.
If we forget you, O Grantham,
may our identity as Aussies count as nothing.
We have been bruised but we are not beaten.
We are God’s poor, God’s little ones.
We may not have wealth or status, but we too matter,
and so does our town.
Though the journey back to wholeness is long,
the deconstruction, cleanup and rebuilding,
the ploughing under and replanting,
the battles with red tape and regulations,
and the oceans of grief and anxiety and uncertainty to work through,
you are with us in the midst of it, O God.
You suffer and struggle, weep and laugh with us.
With your strength and love
we will remember who we are,
and finding together, new joy.