Bonhoeffer writes of discipleship
and incense rises in a church this morning.
I decide to sell my car
to be free of its endless needs;
bound then by bus and train,
schedule of ship and plane.

What is required of me?
Dietrich says -
out of prewar Germany -
obedience before belief,
belief before obedience.

I look back at five years;
Through Grace I found the Gift,
Through Gift I found God's Grace.
And not cheap.
If I look at sixty months
instead of days or weeks,
perhaps the pattern is revealed.

I gave up job
(before a Christmas long ago)
because a man - a child - was killed.
Neighbor as self?

I gave up marriage
before an Easter long ago
because that love was dead.
To follow Him?

And went back to job,
to teaching,
to loving children
and searched for a new love,
not Him at all.
And each arc that leapt
proved fruitless, barren
until this Spring
when Jesus came again.

I have said,
and again this morning,
I have dedicated my life to Christ.
Some try not to hear me say that.
Loving friends decide I have been so hurt
I seize now a faithful Lover.
I agree,
but He is more than that.

My mother says
"She has taken a year off to write"
and that makes such sense.

People nod.
The artist in the garret rings reasonable bells.
I have taken a life off to write
about Christ's love.

How does one
in this wrenching time
dedicate a soul to God?
I will find out.
I will find out.

Chicago, 1975

Back to Poetry Menu
Back to Main Menu