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Mary Lou Cornish

About this Christian Poet:
I have loved poetry ever since I latched on to my older sister's Grade 9 textbook, an anthology called Realms of Gold, as a child. It was, specifically, Alfred Noyes' "The Highwayman" that captivated me and made me want to explore more of this thing called poetry.

I am a journalist by trade and have dabbled in most writing genres. I have only recently started to seriously write verse, however. I am grateful to the Utmost community of writers for sharing their knowledge with me and encouraging me to jump in the water with them!

This particular poem relates my struggle with the Lord following a series of car accidents that resulted in pain and disability. At first I hated God for what had happened in my life; but I came to learn that suffering was the tool He was using to draw me to Him and that He was allowing these hardships out of pure love. The paradox of that boggled my mind and led me to write "Fierce Mercy."

Fierce Mercy

What fierce mercy is this
that pummels/cuddles me
with a violence so gentle
it drops me to my knees, amazed?

You were devil to me
before ever You were God.
Chasing me to chasten me,
You seemed nothing but punisher
(how could I have known then
that You were the Punished
punished for me?)

Caught, I hated You, berated You,
Screaming, "My wants – You don't care!
My plans – You're not fair!"

I wrestled with You.
You left me with a Jacob-limp.
I demanded answers.
You responded with Job-questions.
I pleaded for my dreams to live.
You took them
as You took David's Bathsheba-born son.

And then, finally, the realization
of the who, what, how and why of You
splashed across the sky of my soul.
Suffering was the dynamite
You used to hollow out
a space in me, to make room
for the Holy Spirit.
You were blast-blessing me,
and, suddenly, I was fast-confessing,
me, the woman who never admitted
she was wrong, now thronged
by a myriad of sins, angry little squealers
who did not like being exposed.

Elijah-weary, I would have given up.
But Your Word came as a raven
bearing sustenance.
"I have loved you
with an everlasting love."

That pain should be
the vehicle of that love
will always astound me.

Because of Your fierce mercy,
I receive Your ferocious grace.
For You, Lord Jesus, are paradox,
the mighty Lion of Judah,
and the meek Lamb of God.

Copyright ©2005 by Mary Lou Cornish