God is the strangest of all lovers; His ways are past explaining.
He sets His heart on a soul; He says to Himself, “Here will I rest My love.”
But He does not woo her with flowers or jewels or words that are set to music,
no names endearing, no kindled praise His heart’s direction prove.
His jealousy is an infinite thing. He stalks the soul with sorrows;
He tramples the bloom; He blots the sun that could make her vision dim.
He robs and breaks and destroys—there is nothing at last but her own shame, her own affliction,
and then He comes and there is nothing in the vast world but Him and her love of Him.
Not till the great rebellions die and her will is safe in His hands forever
does He open the door of light and His tendernesses fall,
and then for what is seen in the soul’s virgin places,
for what is heard in the heart, there is no speech at all.
God is a strange lover; the story of His love is most surprising.
There is no proud queen in her cloth of gold; over and over again
there is only, deep in the soul, a poor disheveled woman
for us who have need of a picture and words: the Magdalen.
Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Jessica Powers)
God is a strange lover (1947; 1984)
Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.