Multitude: A Poem for the Nations



From Revelation 7

Even a silent multitude
Is deafening by its presence,
Billions of lungs breathing together,
An ocean of palm branches
Brushing against white cotton
Who knows these people?

Where they come from,
The languages of their whispered

Some cannot help dancing,
Jumping together, in time,
They are not a quiet nation, 
who endure joy in stillness.

The edges of their own garments
Peek bright under righteous hems,
Swishing saris, shalwar kameez,
Dashiki, kimonos, 
Lederhosen, kaftans, jeans,
all those Quechuas 
in ponchos and fedoras,

Others hold hands, embrace,
Kiss on one cheek, or two cheeks,
On lips, hands, foreheads,
They bow, shake hands, touch forearms,
grasp wrists, shoulders, touch noses
Perform wais, manos, namastes,
Hands on hearts, smiling.

Someone has a grill going,
There’s garlic in the air, cilantro,
Mustard, cinnamon, cardamom,
Turmeric, unmistakable basmati,
A Navajo tries kimchi for the first time.

A makeshift choir starts a melodic chant
In a language that hasn’t been heard 
In centuries
But we know the words:

Our God has saved us! 
The Lamb has saved us! 

Our God has saved us!
The Lamb has saved us!

We are beautiful now, untroubled
    Our God has saved us!
We are healed, we’re unburned
  The Lamb has saved us!

We are light from all poverty
   Our God has saved us!
We are raised from all deaths
   The Lamb has saved us!

We will eat and never hunger
   Our God has saved us!
We will drink living water
   The Lamb has saved us!

And God is our shelter
   Our God has saved us!
The Lamb is our shepherd
   The Lamb has saved us!

Our God has saved us!
The Lamb has saved us!

And though we are a multitude too great to count
Our Lord God names us, each one,
And wipes every tear from our eyes.


Dan Erickson and his wife Annie live in Pretoria, South Africa. They are a part of Novo's Ethne collective and minister to churches and church leaders in the region. Dan is part of Novo's Prime Worship team, which prepares people for gospel movement by leading them into deeper intimacy with Jesus.