Face to Face

Never since…

There has been no one like Moses, but then really,
has there ever been another like, well, anyone?
In all the majesty of wonder, the greatest wonder yet
may be: that I am I, and you are you, and though we share
some ninety-odd percent of our genetic code
with cats (though Moses might not like to hear it) we
are one and yet distinct, unique and ever linked.

…whom the LORD knew face to face…

Of whom is that not true? Oh, You who knew
me long before I breathed the air, You to whom
the streams of time are not a straightforward
cascade, who dances on the river-foam of years,
for You, the face is less effective than a mask
in hiding what we in delusion think is “privacy.”
You know us soul to soul – soul to soul.

He was unequaled…

Ah, yes. Now there, I must confess and so agree,
I am no Moses. What soul has found release
from bondage or captivity though my essay?
Perhaps, at best, a mind has passed an obstacle,
a heart found comfort or a soul relief.
No Moses I, nor many (any?) of Your people.
May one and all take up the staff to set Your people free.

A poem/prayer based on Deuteronomy 34:1-12, the Revised Common Lectionary First Reading for Year A, Proper 25 (30).

The image is “The Death of Moses” by Phillip Medhurst. Digital image by Philip De Vere – https://www.flickr.com/groups/the_phillip_medhurst_collection_of_bible_prints/pool/phillip_medhurst_bible_pictures, Philip De Vere is owner and curator of the prints in the User:Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations. Medhurst’s purchase and collation of prints illustrating the Bible (“The Phillip Medhurst Collection”), now housed at Belgrave Hall Leicester, was made possible by (and was within the terms of) the Kevin Victor Freestone Bequest. See https://www.flickr.com/groups/the_phillip_medhurst_collection_of_bible_prints and https://www.flickr.com/groups/phillip_medhurst_bible, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44942429.

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