Wounded World that Cries for Healing

Shirley Erena Murray, of New Zealand wrote this hymn in 1992. It was written for an ecumenical service addressing the issues of health and welfare benefits for the people of New Zealand. It is deliberately political and is a hymn of protest and resolve. I think it speaks to the crisis our nation is in at the present time.

“Wounded world that cries for healing here we hold each other’s pain,
wounded systems, bruised and bleeding bear the load, the scars of strain;
dollars ration our compassion, hard decisions rule the day.
Jesus of the healing Spirit, free us to another way!

Through our nation’s spent frustration, through the corridors of stress
may there move a kindlier wisdom all may feel, and all may bless;
tax and tithe are for a purpose shared to shield the poor and weak;
past the symptoms of our sickness let the voice of justice speak.

Honor those who loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals,
towel and basin used in service like the Christ who comes and kneels;
in the tending, in the mending may we see the right and fair,
in our common quest for wholeness heal each other by our care.”

Consider these questions as you reflect on this hymn and its application for today:
What reactions do you have to the line: “dollars ration our compassion?”
Do you agree that taxes and tithes are to assist the poor and the common good?
What systems in the USA meant to help people are in trouble and need to be healed?
How can this be done?
What is a “kindlier wisdom?” What parable or teaching of Jesus speaks of such wisdom?
Name those people you know that are “in service like the Christ.”
What are they doing to help the poor, the sick, the needy?

Shirley Erena Murray is a Presbyterian laywoman. Her husband John, is a retired pastor. She has been a teacher of languages, active in Amnesty International, and is a recipient of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Shirley Murray is one of the best hymn writers of today and her works are included in the most recent hymnals of many denominations.

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.