God as (Grand)Mother
As Mother’s Day approaches on Sunday, I am thinking about the image of God as mother. During a particularly painful part of my spiritual path, I rejected much of my childhood version of Christianity. I rejected the images of God that I had been told were the only acceptable images, such as the Old Sky Daddy. Part of my climb out of the dark and painful pit that looked like atheism, but was really just healing, was opening myself to the image of God as mother, and more specifically, as Grandmother. I pictured God as an elderly woman, with long, grey hair flowing over her shoulders and down her body. She wore a comfortable sun dress. Her body was soft and plump. She was clearly at home in Her own skin. She sat on a comfortable, cozy rocking chair and invited me to rest in Her lap. She stroked my hair and whispered lovingly in my ear. Sometimes She sang a sweet lullaby. Her presence was soothing, gentle, and nourishing, and also powerful. She could be fierce when She needed to protect her children. This was a god I wanted to be with, a god I needed to be with.
Is there a danger of creating god in our own image and likeness? Yes, there is. But when an image comes to us spontaneously, when an image brings us peace, joy, comfort, healing, and other gifts of the Holy Spirit, then we can trust this as a gift from God. When an image brings us judgment, criticism, self-righteousness, then not so much.
God is so humble and so full of longing to be in loving relationship with us that God reveals God-self to us in the ways that we need, in ways we can catch. For me, this was God the GrandMother. What is it for you? Not what images have you been taught, but what images have you caught? How is the Spirit working in your imagination to reveal who and what God is and to bring you what you need?