Commandment #3

I think finally
I understand
the third holy command
“Do not take
the Lord’s name
in vain”

I used to think
this was a pithy rule
condemning all
who say
“Oh My God”
or worse yet
“God damn”

But now I know
I get it
after a mid-November
Parisian evening
That third commandment
is imploring us
not to invoke
hate and bloodshed
under the monotheistic
bold faced letterhead
“In God’s Name”

If my ear were prophetic
I imagine I would hear
this divine message
ringing like a bell
so clear;

“Not in my name.
Never should brutality
against one another
be for me.
No matter
what particular lens
you perceive me through
Hindu, Jew, Christen or UU…
you’ve gotten it wrong.
I am not for your gain
for you are my love
embodied.
The hands I gifted you
are for peace
for care
for everyone
even those
who don’t believe.
I beg you all
please work to find
that gentle place
inside your soul
that is where I am
where I dwell.
It is a home deeply rooted
inside a kind seed
brought to life
through deed, manifesting
in compassionate moments
of selfless empathy.
Sisters, brothers
you will also find me
in each other.
When you kill
terrorize, destroy
and turn a blind eye
it is yourself
and me, your God
whom you are harming.
It is the furthest away
you could possibly be
from my divine embrace.”

If I am quiet enough
I swear to God
I can hear these words
Is it just me
or can you hear them too?

12 thoughts on “Commandment #3

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