Use Me Instead

Solidarity against racism.

Words and music by Sarah Pirtle, © 2017 Discovery Center Music, BMI   

Recording to be made in 2018.


Am                 C                          G                      
Chorus: Use me Lord. Show me how to bring the light.
You are here. I understand.   
Am                          G                                         Am
Use me Lord. Now and forever. God’s work is in our hands.   


       Am              G                  Am      G                   
Sergeant Deant went to target practice, 
North Miami police just had a turn.  
Am            C                                                     Am                                      
When she looked at the photo they’d been   --  shooting at,
Am                        G         Am
what she saw made her soul burn, her soul burn.
Am          G                       Am                   G                Am
She said -- I am a National Guard sergeant and I just want you to know.
C                                          Am
You can’t be shooting at the photos of --  real Black men.
Am                  G          Am
That’s my brother and I love him so.

Am                                             G
Chorus: Use me Lord. Show me how to bring the light.
You are here. I understand.   
G                                            Am
Use me Lord. Now and forever.  
God’s work is in our hands.   


Am                             G         Am                            G    Am

2. I recognize that look of defiant hope, that no bullet holes can erase.
          C                  Am                                   G          Am
This tattered photo in my hands is my own brother’s face.
Police pointed guns at Black photos and filled them full of lead.
Then pastors learned of these goings on, and they said -- use me instead.  


Am      G               Am                          G             Am

3. Yes, pastors sent in their photos and let this story be heard.
     C              Am                         Am            G          Am
If someone’s gonna sit in the target spot,
let the Lord have the last word.  
If your parents taught you race hatred,
resist it, daughters and sons.
We’re all part of one Tree of Life, and a new day has begun.   


Production: To be recorded 2018.

The Story of the Song

Valerie Deant, a national guard sergeant ,went to target practice as part of her duties at a shooting range in North Miami right after it has been used by the local police department. She discovered that the police were using pictures of black men for target practice. She was shocked to find mugshots placed on the targets by the North Miami police. All the photos were of African American men--and one was of her brother, from 15 years earlier. Valerie Deant brought this news to local TV and the word spread nationally.

"The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."

A news story explains: “Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman and other Lutheran pastors discussed in a closed Facebook group how to respond to something that was emblematic of a deeper, systematic problem.

Rev. Lura N. Groen of Houston along with Gonnerman and others, invited friends to post pictures of themselves in their clerical clothing. Soon, people—many, but not all of them, clergy—began tweeting images using the hashtag #UseMeInstead.” 

Researching the Lutheran church, the phrases “Use me, Lord” and “God’s work is in our hands” stood out and became the chorus.