I saw a post on the ‘God’ page on Facebook recently, very funny, it said that he’d given Moses twenty commandments not ten and the fool had dropped one of the tablets. That made me think about those commandments that I grew up learning, and being fearful of breaking, and how that has affected my life, if at all. Thou shalt not kill didn’t stress me out much, I’m very unlikely to kill anyone, despite saying I’d love to many times; it’s more an Irish way of saying ‘will you shut up before you drive me mad’ than anything else. So no intention of killing, tick.
How about thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain? Oops, might have been a bit naughty there in fairness. Is it that bad to call out someone’s name in passion or angst? No problem with the stealing one either though, I guess I don’t want anything that anyone else has that much and thank goodness I’ve never been hungry enough to steal food. But if I was, would it really be a sin or just a survival option?
Honour thy father and they mother? Well I guess I did my bit but that can be difficult depending on how they treat you and how much you feel honoured in that family. It might be wiser to be told to honour yourself first and then to treat others as you would like to be treated. That’s a complicated one, might need a bit more thought.
Thou shalt not covet they neighbour’s wife? Hmmm, not something that I ever had a problem with; my neighbour’s wife never held much interest for me at all, even on a good day. However, I must point out here that God never said anything about coveting thy neighbour’s husband! Now why do you think that is? Is it that God was catering only for straight men and gay women when he wrote that commandment? I’m going to have to have a word with him about how sexist that is, he doesn’t seem to have given a thought for the urges of gay men and straight women at all, never mind those who are single.
I’m starting to wonder if Moses told a little white lie and wrote them all himself, thinking in his limited way that he had all bases covered and could keep the general population on the straight and narrow as they wandered in circles around the desert; ooh, that image is hurting my head!
In conclusion, how about Thou shalt not hurt anyone, including thyself? Thou shalt mind thine own business? Thou shalt be kind at all times? Thou shalt smile at everyone? There seem to be lots of options for unlimited commandments out there; which again leads me to think that Moses wasn’t listening to what he was told from that heavenly cloud or else he just sat there scratching his ear trying to come up with something feasible.
Clarity by Anne Elizabeth Bevan
Across the frosted pain,
icy pebbles flew.
Thunder howled inside her brow,
shaking old roots, ripping across her
velvet eyes, raging on into
the night. Then rain, soft on
her frozen face.
Dawn brought silver, a glimmer of
hope, lightening. Today she would
escape, race across
the purple hills, abandoned.
Ignited, she dressed in unsuitable
attire, climbed out the window