The Face of God- A Poem
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.