Sunday, August 17, 2008

el Dios de los pobres

"Vos sos el Dios de los pobres [You are the God of the poor]
El Dios humano y sencillo [The human and simple God}
El Dios que suda en la calle [The God who sweats on the street]
El Dios de rostro curtido. [The God with a weather beaten face]
Por eso es que te hablo yo [That's why I speak to you]
Así como te habla mi pueblo [Just like my people speak to you]
Porque sos el Dios obrero [Because you are the worker God]
El Cristo trabajador... [the worker Christ]

Yo te he visto en uno pulpería [I have seen you in a corner store]
Te he visto vendiendo lotería [I have seen you selling lottery tickets]
sin que te avergüence ese papel. [without being ashamed of this role]
Yo te he visto en las gasolineras [I have seen you in the gas stations]
Chequeando los llantas de un camión [checking the tires of a truck]
Y hasta patroleando carreteras [even patrolling the highways]
con guantes de cuero y overol. [with leather gloves and overalls]

The poetry above is part of the Nicaraguan Misa Campesina, or people's mass. It was written in the 1970s by Carlos Mejia Godoy, one of the country's most famous musicians, who traveled extensively throughout Nicaragua to listen to the voices of the people, to create this work of art. The words are the slang of the campo, the instruments are the ones played by the people, and the message? The message is the message of Immanuel--that God is with us in the most humble of places, most difficult of circumstances, and that He understands because he has been there.

I had a chance to hear the entire Misa live in Nicaragua's national theater last week performed by Carlos Mejia Godoy, his band, and a group of classical musicians. (It was sort of a strange juxtaposition to be singing of Christ being in solidarity with the poor while sitting in a huge air conditioned theater, but it was also interesting to see how the entire population of Nicaragua, of all social classes, has come to appreciate this music and how they sang along with pride and emotion during some of the songs.)

All in all, it was a powerful experience for me to consider how this musical work has touched the lives of so many people, how it has brought the reality of God's presence and love closer to people who perhaps don't even own clothes they consider nice enough to enter a church, and how the gospel must speak into social injustices, as well as our spiritual soul condition.

For the words and work of Christ are not only for me, but for my neighbor and my community as well. And especially for the least of these.

(p.s. Thanks Jenny for the correction to one of the lines--I thought something was off!)


Jenny said...

I love that song!!!! We used to sing it all the time in our little church in El Salvador. I love the way it brings Jesus to a level we can relate to.

p.s. I've always sung the 5th line, "por eso es que te hablo yo" [that's why I speake to you], following with line 6 "asi como habla mi pueblo" [just like my people speak]

paul soup said...

beautiful lyrics