God Help the Outcasts

I don’t know if you can hear me
Or if you’re even there
I don’t know if you would listen to a gypsy’s prayer
Yes, I know I’m just an outcast
I shouldn’t speak to you
Still I see your face and wonder
Were you once an outcast too?

In the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmeralda, a gypsy teenage dancer, comes into church for the first time. Feeling ignorant and out of place she sees an image of Jesus and prays to him… humbly presenting an outcast’s prayer too the one who was an outcast…

Helen has said that she’ll come to church today. She’s not been to church in years. I wonder if she’ll feel as out of place as Esmeralda… What might her prayer be?

God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy they don’t find on Earth
God help my people
We look to you still
God help the outcasts or nobody will

Esmeralda prays not for herself – her dreams or problems – but for others in need – the poor, the hungry, the rejected.

Other citizens pray for themselves – things they want and think they deserve. They ask God to bless them…

I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and his angels to bless me

…Musing on my prayers… so often self-centred with little humility… asking that God will bless me… telling God what I think he ought to do for me. I’ve much to learn from Esmeralda’s selfless prayer…

…And Helen …coming to a self-centred church? …feeling like an outcast? But a child of God who can pray to him honestly.

I ask for nothing, I can get by
But I know so many less lucky than I
Please help my people
The poor and down trod
I thought we all were the children of God
God help the outcasts
Children of God

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