Let Your Justice Roll

I sat with a group of friends and I wept. I heard a story of a young girl being taken advantage of by someone she should have been able to trust, someone who should have been a bulwark and shield for her. As the story unfolded, the revisiting of the horror through police interviews, medical examinations, the ensuing shame and confusion of a young girl, I sobbed silently behind my folded hands. I am the father of a daughter, which in some profound way that I don’t yet understand, makes me the father of all daughters, everywhere.

When I left the room, I found a piano, and wrote this song.

justiceroll.mp3

Let Your Justice Roll
by Michael Lee

God of the undone
of the poor and the weak
The children of the broken
Rise up to meet you

We have heard it whispered
In the songs of your people
you make all things new

God of the undone
of the poor and the weak
The children of sorrow
Rise up to meet you

We have heard it whispered
In the songs of creation
you make all things new

Until the cups of your children run over
Until the sorrow of life is undone
Let the song of the earth be, “God most holy,
let your justice roll”

Let your justice roll down from heaven
Let your angels bear up the weak
may those who are broken
be mended and whole
God let your justice roll

33 thoughts on “Let Your Justice Roll

  1. Gretchen

    I think God has given us music to pour out and express ourselves when prayer and the “right” words may fail us. Mike you have let God use you as a tool of healing and as a mouthpiece. Thank you

  2. Bobby

    I had a similar moment the first time I saw “The Green Mile” after Bethany was born. I had seen it many times before that, but at the scene where the father discovers his daughters, I just lost it. It never bothered me before, but having a daughter has altered something deep in my soul.

    My understanding of the concept of God the Father is much more personal and real to me, now that I am dealing with similar issues (albeit on a far less cosmic scale).

  3. Morphea

    Beautiful, Michael. The perfect cry of all fathers (I’m guessing, since I’m both female and childless).
    .
    All things ARE made new. I guess that goes for the hearts of new parents as well, right? Blessings on you all.

  4. aly hawkins

    It’s rare for me to have a physical reaction to music (other than the generic toe-tapping, humming along, etc. that’s to be expected), but I feel this song in an almost-Jeremiah way: melting my bones, turning my blood to fire.

    I know I have an overly-simplistic sense of justice – sometimes I shock myself with how juvenile and black-and-white I can be. “That’s just not fair” is common and cute for 6-year-olds, but not so much for 30-year-olds…and it’s a thought I have early and often.

    When I heard this song for the first time a couple nights ago, I felt deep in my gut that God feels the inequity and abuse and prejudice and oppression far, far more than I ever can, could, or will. He feels in it his bones, in his blood. I felt this cosmic “That’s just not fair” booming over the airwaves of heaven, and I felt small. And safe.

  5. Morphea

    Al, my explanation for my physical reaction to the music, apart from the message and his superb way of putting it, of course, is Michael’s mastery of the blue note, the diminished chord and the strained vocals on the parallel octave. Gold. [smile]
    .
    Well done again, Michael.

  6. jon

    Any chance you’ll be posting a PDF with the piano music for those who want to learn how to play that song?

  7. michael Lee

    Jon, I would love to, but it was never written down. I tracked the primary piano part at a room in our church, and then tracked the other two piano parts and the backing instruments in Logic Pro without ever stopping to write it out on paper.

    Tell you what – when Ash gets together the 50k for me to record an album, I’ll release a piano book along with it.

  8. Ben Miller

    Michael –

    Wow. I love this song… Thanks for putting it out there.

    I’m not sure how this goes, but I figured I’d ask – I’m part of a community called Word Made Flesh (www.wordmadeflesh.com) that lives and works among the poor. I just wanted to check and make sure it’d be all right if I used this song in a presentation thingie about our work w/ street kids in Brazil? (This’d be just for showing at churches, people’s homes, etc.)

    Anyway, I at least wanted to say thanks for writing something like this that begins to capture the cries of the least of these for justice…

    peace,

    Ben

  9. michael lee Post author

    Ben,

    Please feel free to use it in any not-for-profit context that seems appropriate. If you use it as part of a presentation, please send me a copy, I’d love to see it.

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  12. Cerise

    Oh, yeah, and I actually had something more to say – I’ve got this sucker on my hard drive and listen to it from time to time. As I’ve gotten to know your voice a little better, Mike, I’ve wondered at the dark, covered quality to your vocals in this song, and then it hit me. You sound PISSED. And sad. But mostly – and this may be me reading WAY more into your performance than you ever intended – you sound like a Dad that would like nothing more than to tear into whoever hurt your little one with both hands. You sound mad, resigned, and…leashed. Because, aren’t all angry fathers who believe in God and Jesus asked to let God do the justice-ing? Apart from legal constraints and Civilized Society, what’s to keep an enraged parent from going after someone with both hands and a convenient baseball bat? Their belief that God wishes them to forbear and allow his/her justice to take things from there. A difficult, I would think, lesson to swallow.

    So – you sound like an angry man who has been muzzled by God and is subsequently begging God to roll Justice over the offender in, perhaps, the form of largeish, crashing waves.

  13. michael lee Post author

    I’m singing this song in services tomorrow. When I think back to the story behind it, it still feels like a punch in the gut. It still makes me angry.

  14. michael lee Post author

    Well, I made it through, but just barely. I get so angry when I sing this piece.

    Huge thanks to Tim Walton for the outstanding backup keyboards. If anyone is interested in buying stock in a young high school player who will be a monster in 10 years, I’d highly recommend Tim.

  15. Julie Beveridge

    Hey I just want to say that when I heard this song in church yesterday morning, I just wanted to sit and weep, it was so beautiful and so comforting to know that even though life does not always seem fair, we know that God is the one who will bring the justice, you really need to be recording this and put it on an album somewhere!!

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