Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wallace Mercer R.I.P.

I noticed the other day a fellow blogger described my blog penned under the name Wallace Mercer as pseudonymical serenity. That alone gives me pause for what I'm about to do. Many of you already know me by my real name. Humor me while I entertain the fantasy that the word 'many' could mean there are thousands of readers out there. Whether I have a few or many readers, I've reached a decision to begin prattling on under the name given me by my earthly father and mother: Karen Ann Fentress.

In taking this action, I put to rest this fine name, Wallace Mercer; One taken so I could speak under a cloak. It is with a profound sense of gratitude that I release this veil. His name, conjured some five years ago by me, is actually a very real person. Wallace Mercer was, according to Wikkipedia, the chairman of the Scottish football club, the Hearts of Edinburgh from 1981-1994. He is best remembered for the controversial merger he attempted of the two rival teams in Edinburgh, the Hearts and Hibs. One need not be an expert in football or business to know that pushing for a joinder of enemies, whether for simple financial gain, or for the purpose of eternal good can make for some nasty conflict. That was the case for the real Wallace Mercer. His death in 2006 was was just prior to a match between the Hearts and Hibs. Some fans, still angered by his audacious attempt to merge the clubs, shouted disrespectfully during a moment of silence held in Mercer's honor. Presumably, it was both teams' fans that yelled during the silence. It usually comes down to that.

I do not know this real man. I know nothing about his virtue or lack thereof. Because I think this story has meaning, I won't pretend the real Wallace Mercer was someone to esteem. What I do know, is the name I chose for my veil is one I'm glad to have used. I chose Wallace because of Wallace Stevens, the complicated insurance executive/lawyer turned poet. I chose Mercer because it hints at the word mercy-a quality of God's I scarcely apprehend, yet for which I am exceedingly grateful.

Wallace Stevens is not a poet I read with regularity, but I fancy myself as like him, a bit. I do practice law. I tend to be a bit verbose, as poets can be. And Mercer, or mercy. I hesitate to even speak on the topic. Mercy and grace are words that, from time to time, are used interchangeably. The distinction is not readily apparent. The words of Rolfe Barnard clarify the difference for me:

Mercy is God's favour that holds back from us what we deserve.

Grace is God's favour that gives us what we do not deserve.-Rolfe Barnard

Perhaps it can be said that mercy is the greatest of the qualities of God. I've said it before here, on this blog, because of God's just wrath, you and I deserve death, the punishment for sin is simple and clear. But Jesus took our place. In him alone can we experience the true grace of the Father. I said I hesitate to even speak of mercy- in doing so, it seems to me, mercy is me centered-concentrates on what I can receive of him. But the more I think on it, the more God avails himself to me, mercy is his and his alone, and he, in his infinite goodness, chooses to give it.

Wallace Mercer, the real man, dared attempt the unthinkable. He was, if only in my imagination, a sort of radical to believe two warring factions might be one. I think it a tad hopeful that in my old pseudonym there's more to cherish than I originally intended. As the old, new me, Karen, may I write with hope of reconcilation in mind as a testament to the real Wallace Mercer. Not recklessly or with impure heart, but ever aware of the cost my dear savior paid for my falleness; May I sit one day in heaven over a tall pint of beer with the real Wallace Mercer, but always give thanks to God for his dear mercy in making us both. Rest in Peace, Wallace.

Soli Deo Gloria

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