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Feb 2017
I saw god today.
Sitting in the alleyway,
Head hung low on the subway.

I saw him wordlessly crying,
As all the world went flying,
Dying by.

I saw him homeless and asking for change on 54th
I saw the streetlight illuminate his graying, ragged beard.

I heard his name yelled--
Out of fear.

I didn't see God
In the white picket fences,
In the pristine churches with cushioned benches.

I didn't see Him
At fish fries,
Or in ostentatious Osteen's obnoxious cries.

I saw god kneeling on the splintered pews;
I saw him fleeing with the Jews.

I saw him in the south,
With the poor,
Lying naked on the floor.

I saw god and didn't recognize him.

For he was kind
And accepting,
With eyes that saw,
But were blind.

I saw him wash the feet of sinners.
I saw him cry and pray at dinner.

I saw god today,
And we talked,
Embarking on a casual foray--

he asked me to tell him my misgivings,
And my doubts about faithful living.

I did.

"god, there is so much hypocrisy in this world,
And often, in your name it's unfurled.

You weigh down the oppressed,
And lift up the oppressor.

Christians shame their daughters for abortion,
They cry murderer and throw your words at her.
They do not help.
They do not heal.

Christians turn away those who would seek refuge.
They forget that you were Prince of an exiled people.

I am told that if I do not accept you,
I will go to Hell,
And you know this to be true.

Or worse,
A better man than me might go to Hell.
Because he calls you Allah,
Or Buddha,
And no matter the good he might do;

Still he is doomed."

god heard me,
And his tears fell--

he paused a moment,
And then responded,

"My child,
Can you not see?
Here I am before you,
And look how my 'disciples' turn away from me."

he said that word with bitterness and disdain,
I'd like to note.
It dripped off his tongue,
Even as blood fell from his wrists, legs, and side.

he carried on:

"Look how many are afraid of me,
How many reject me--
Because they don't want to see.

Look how many seek their own gain.
See how many look away from my pain.

Still, on Sunday
They'll come out and sing--
Cacophonous droning,
Wailing and moaning.

They do not worship me.

You see me here before you.
I am not their God.

Their God is one of self-advocacy,
Of Selfishness--
Of sublime, self-serving servitude.

I am Selflessness.
I am Poverty.
I am Outcast.
I am Brokenness.

I know your concerns.
I know you spend long nights questioning your faith.
Questioning others' faith.

BlessΓ©d are you,
My son.

BlessΓ©d are all my children,
Who seek to serve those who do not know my name.
They are my children still;
And still others of my followers have strayed farther for fame.
BlessΓ©d are they, too,
That they might know me--
And you.

You come here and speak your truth,
And I thank you."

god stood up,
Humbly bowed his head,
Ever subservient,
And walked away.

I sat in silence,
Contemplating our verbal parlance.

Then I too stood up,
Walked away.

I saw him sitting outside,
In his hands,
An empty styrofoam cup.

I saw god today.

And as I walked away,
I saw one man stop, give him a couple quarters, and a nervous, friendly smile.

I saw another walk past, dressed in her Sunday best, averting her gaze, using her body to block her child's line of sight.

I saw god today.

Did you?
Frank DeRose
Written by
Frank DeRose  New Market, MD
(New Market, MD)   
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