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The Face of God- A Poem

Updated on October 12, 2013

The Fray "How to Save a Life"

Today I saw the face of God

Staring from the face of a child

Cold, dirty, half starved

No shoes on her feet

Streaks on a dirty face where tears have been

You call yourself a true believer

but you do not help her

You barely see her at all

You cling to your religion

but you quickly push her away

She is too unclean for you

You go to church every Sunday

Coffee and snacks after the service

She begs for scraps on the sidewalk

Your religion is a lie

Your faith is false

Your lifestyle a sacrilege

As long as you can not look her in the eye

Or reach a hand out without disgust

As long as she suffers

Your faith is a facade

Your religion a mockery

Your liturgy is a lie

This is one of two poems I wrote after watching a documentary called Born into Brothels. In this documentary a photographer named Zana Briski from New York teaches the children growing up in a brothel in India how to use cameras and helps them to see their world in a different way. The children are granted a glimpse of things they never would have seen before because one woman saw a need and fulfilled it. All it takes is one person to change the lives of a few to make the world a better place.

In this particular piece I address the need for help from those who believe themselves to be above this cause. People who claim absolute religion without doing the good works that should go with any faith. I was raised in the church and saw this time and time again. False goodness at every turn, people believing that simply showing up to church every week is their only obligation as a religious person. People that believe they owe nothing to those that do not believe the same things as they do.

As a society we need to address these needs of those less fortunate than us. What has happened to the neighbors that would help each other in times of need? People who gave something to a stranger because they saw a void they could fill? Are we so blinded by our quest for personal salvation that we have lost our path? The path to salvation and personal gratification is not found within the walls of a church but out in the community serving and helping others. The church should be a starting point, a place to gather before going out into the world to do good, not the destination.

In the church I used to attend every service was ended the same way and I wonder how many people take to heart what they say out of trained habit. The pastor says, "Go in peace. Serve the Lord." The response is simply, "Thanks be to God." Serving the Lord can only be done through good works and helping others. I wonder how many people leave the service planning on serving others? How many plan to reach out to the dirty, barefooted child that needs their help? So I challenge you, dear reader, Go in Peace AND SERVE the Lord.

Please visit the website of the Kids with Cameras group and help to support their cause.


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    • frogyfish profile image


      7 years ago from Central United States of America

      Such a vivid truth you pictured, and your explanation was enlightening also. Your poem was beautifully horrid truth!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, my gran would never go to church, 'hypocrites,' she would say, 'hypocrites' and then she would bang her walking cane down on the floor! when asked why, she would say, 'they only care for themselves and what they look like, coming out of Church, all dressed up, makes them look good!' seems that we have something in common with this, it makes me so mad, very moving poem, rated up! cheers nell

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      A very moving poem, and a very valid point.

    • Greenhousewife profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Well said Hyphenbird. Think of this as a call to action for those that do not step up and help to solve problems. I applaud you for doing your part and thank you for stopping by to read my hub.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I do believe there are many people left who work hard to help and desire to relieve suffering. You are right that some people leave church, synagogue or that ever and wrap themselves in denial. Oh but the ones who help do so with all their might. And to know at night that one has fed, clothed and loved a child like you described makes one grateful to be a servant. Bless the beasts and the children as the song goes.

    • Greenhousewife profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my poetry and for your lovely comments!

    • marriedwithdebt profile image


      7 years ago from Illinois

      Very blunt, and rightly so. I like the take it or leave it delivery. Well done.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful poem and photo. I enjoyed reading your explanation of the creation of the poem.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Amen. Your words are so true and like others have said, challenging. When we turn away and do nothing, our faith is pretty meaningless. Jesus said that if we do help the hungry, the thirsty and the imprisoned, he does not even know us. He helped these ones. Thanks for this entry. Beautiful job!

    • Greenhousewife profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago


      Always a pleasure to have you stop by. I am honored by your wonderful comment. Thank you for stopping in, I hope you enjoy my work as I publish it for the poetry contest.

    • Greenhousewife profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      phdast- I have not found another church, mush to the dismay of my mother. I believe that a church is not where I am meant to be at the current stage of my spirituality. I know not all churches are the same, I have been to various churches of various sects, but that is not where I am being called to at the present moment.

      SimpleGiftsofLove- Excellent name, reminding us it isn't the fancy and expensive things but the gifts from the heart that matter. Love it! I hope you will continue to follow my work as I post it.

      Thank you both for taking time to read and comment on my hub!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      I adore this challenging poem. It heads straight for the heart and refuses to turn a blind eye. Powerful and compelling. Thank you for throwing down the gauntlet within the center of the coliseum. I'm honored to have read this work.


    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      This is a great commentary on the need to care for all people who are struggling. I am sorry you had that experience in church, as I have had it too, but chose to let God move me somewhere where at one time I lived amongst the homeless, and prisoners, to fulfill what I was created for. Not only complacent Christians are to blame, how many XBoxes would it take to feed a child for a year? 1. Or Starbucks budget? 1. It is a self-indulgent society that doesn't care as a whole, or would rather throw money at a problem rather than be the hands and feet reaching them. I, like you, let it motivate me to serve with complete abandon. JI want to make a difference. Thank you for reminding me that where I am in my journey is making a difference. Love and peace to you.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Moving and challenging poem. We all could and need to do more for others. Shallow religion that is all words and no action is a terrible thing.

      But not all Christians or all churches are like that. Many commit themselves to serious service and reach out to the least and lost and poorest of Jesus kingdom.

      I hope and pray you have been able to find a church or fellowship like that, where you can serve alongside like minded-people who love God and love his people. Blessings.


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