You May Not Cross - Poem by gershon hepner
“You may not cross, ” God said to him,
“the river to the Promised Land,
although your eyes are not yet dim,
because I saw you raise your hand
against your people when they cried,
‘Bring water, Moses, we are thirsty! ’”
His grief was bitter and he tried
to change God's mind; condemned and cursed, he
was fated now to die alone
on Moab's dry and lonely plain,
with none to bury him and moan,
nor did it help him to complain
to God whom faithfully he'd served
for forty years, because for one
short moment he had been unnerved,
and didn't make the waters run
for all the people who deserved
kind words from him and sympathy,
but acted like an angry boss.
That’s why, although God let him see
the land, He didn’t let him cross.
He spent a lifetime in God’s service
but died in shame, alone, disgraced,
because when people made him nervous
he chided them, unnerved, in haste.
We must be tolerant of those
who disappoint us, failing to
achieve high standards, not expose
shortcomings to the public’s view.
Those whom we humiliate,
as Moses did when at Meribah
when criticizing them, irate,
proved he was not his brothers’ keeper.
If we wish to be less like Cain
and hope the Promised Land to reach,
when challenged we must not complain,
remembering to curb our speech.
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