At church camp they warned us
about sex, drugs, alcohol,
naked women, bad company,
science, other religions,
pants worn too low,
and secular music: Satan's tools
for luring us out of church
and into the world's grip.
The irony is, church gave me my first hit
of the drug that's led me
out of its doors—one faint sniff
of the Good News, God so loved the world,
and I'm lost, uncertain for the first time
of being right about everything wrong,
following its trail to the feet of teachers
Taoist and Muslim and Buddhist,
atheist and agnostic and heretic,
even Catholic,
—and I swear in quiet moments
I've heard the rocks cry out—
following out of doors
to farms, mute gospels;
following down to low places,
poorer and poorer each time
I approach the Cross,
claiming more handouts,
savoring fatted calves,
ever hungrier for ever more
I won't earn or deserve;
following its sweetness
out of my saved soul
and into this carnal body.
Chasing grace, I find myself
in the world, suddenly
my senses flooded with the beauty
of women, the texture of roots,
aromas of coffee and beer,
the firm grip of rough hands
of sinners like me.
Born again and again,
arriving on earth
like a rooting newborn,
I confess, Father, I'm lost
in my love for this world.