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  • Writer's pictureAnneMaree Higgins

A Voice for the Voiceless. Insights from the songwriter #3

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Sometimes while watching the nightly news, the reporter warns viewers that the following scenes may be disturbing. We are given the chance to stop viewing if we are not able to cope with the images. It's good to know these signs of respect exist in our culture to protect vulnerable people. For those of us who feel emotionally robust, there are stories out there that are told because it's still important that we are aware and can actively help to alleviate those who suffer greatly, like children in poverty, young refugees from war or those forced into child labour.

Some stories are so powerful that they can't help but effect us. Such an emotional and compelling song like Rescue Me can hit the listener fairy strongly and that was the intent in writing it, though also important to note it is a challenging topic. Here are some insights into the lyrics by the songwriter.

"Rescue Me" is a song about children around the world who are suffering through forced labour or slavery, fleeing as refugees from war, or oppressed by poverty. They cannot tell us with their own voice what's going on. It's a cry for help by the voiceless. The 'Rescue' is a call to change the structures that oppress children in dire cirmstances. The 'Me' refers to the one in all of us - the Christ being present within every human being. The idea that children are forced to work, be slaves or held against their will for fleeing a country of war is super uncomfortable for most of us.

These real life experiences paint the picture of millions of children around the world. "Shaken awake before the birds..." "Boy forced from home in the dead of night," The horrible reality that these children are forced awake to work in dirty, dangerous conditions and taken from their families to become child soldiers is not a world we want. These poor families can only survive if they send their children to work. The almost haunting melody asks those in power and politics to wake up and take notice. The scripture passage Matthew 25:40-45 says, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ The Golden Rule is a similar notion where are called to treat people how you would like to be treated. One of these tangible comparisons is the right to be educated. In the very least we should be assisting those children to go to school. "Empty school chairs at harvest time" shows the grim necessity for so many that they must forgo education for food. Ironically, education is the very thing that will assist them in moving out of a 'hand to mouth' existence.

Sometimes the problem seems too big and we feel the difficulty in making a difference. It can be helpful to reflect on the actions of Jesus. He sat with people, listened to their stories, became present to their suffering and even wept. "Sit with me, speak to me." This is a beautiful way in which we can respond. Writing a letter to a child in a refugee camp or listening to their stories. It is a truly Christian response when we can allow ourselves to be present to another human being in their suffering. "In the trading, in the misery." We are all made in the image and likeness of God so it gives us a good reason to believe that "every child is special", because there is no justice for us if there is none for them. How can your class make a difference in the lives of these children? Who's voice is crying out 'Rescue Me'?

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