Thursday, July 27, 2006


The Ten Commandments monument across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court continues to draw reactions from people that pass by it. Yesterday was particularly eventful:

It began when Chief Justice John Roberts' Cadillac executive sedan passed by and slowed down for the turn into the Court's underground parking ramp. At the time, I was standing in our front door talking with Dr. David Moshier of the National Clergy Council. While the Chief's security windows are too darkened to see inside, I can only imagine that a brilliantly curious mind like his likely makes the Commandments impossible to ignore. He's a God-fearing, deeply religious man. I trust the sight of the Great Words of Sinai are an inspiration to him each day as he leads the most powerful court in the most powerful nation on earth!

At noon, as I left the building for an appointment, two professionally dressed young people passed by our front garden. One of them, a young woman, stopped suddenly and said to her companion, “Wow! There it is!”

I couldn’t let it pass, so I engaged them in conversation. She explained that they had just been “talking about the Ten Commandments.” Then, she said, she looked up and, “there they were. I couldn’t remember what they said, and then, wow, they were just there.”

We finished the conversation and I thought, what would have happened had she not seen the Commandments? Maybe she and her friend would have just moved on to another topic. Maybe they would have gotten it wrong. Who knows? The only thing we do know is that she saw them just when she needed to—and that moment will not leave her any time soon.

Then, toward the late afternoon, the doorbell of the ministry center rang. A gentleman and his family stood at the door, obviously tourists. He thanked us for our “expression of faith in the public square.” He went on to say how deeply he and his family appreciated “the beautiful display of the Ten Commandments.”

His words were touching. And when I think about it, he would not have seen anything quite like it anywhere in the Capital. Of the two or three other public renditions of the Commandments here in the Washington, none are in English. Two are in Hebrew and one is simply represented by Roman numerals.

Even I am tempted to underestimate the value of this monument because I see it several times every day. It’s when we get surprised faces, words of gratitude, even tears or anger, that we are reminded just how powerful are these Great Words of Sinai!


DaisyPsalm139 said...

Do you know of a link to see a picture of the Ten Commandment Monument online? Thanks

Rev. Rob Schenck said...

So sorry I missed your post. Yes, you can see a photo of the monument at

Thanks for your interest and for leaving your message!