I remember sharing with someone back in 2010 about God being addressed as a mother. I told him that in our college we pray, “Our Mother! Who art in Heaven,” and this person went bonkers. He exclaimed, “This is blasphemous!” To be honest I myself didn’t quite like the idea of God being addressed as a mother. I remember the days I used to jump and clap and shout praises to God when someone cried out, “Our God is a mighty Lion”. You see I preferred a God who was tough – a warrior of sorts. The masculine images, quite frankly, suited this Holy Man up there. It was only in the years that followed I realized that viewing God as a Mother wasn’t blasphemous nor a heresy. It was biblical. The problem is this – in claiming that men (humanity’s most inclusive word) are created in the Image of God, men have ended up creating God in the image of man. We have not been taught to see God as non-male.
With today being celebrated as “Mother’s Day”, I think it is only right to acknowledge the Divine in our mothers. They show us God, don’t they? How happy would mothers be to know that God is a mother! Or rather how happy would God be to be called “Mother”! God is a mother; God is our mother. It sure sounds outrageous and may offend a few faithful but yes God is a “Mom”, “Mummy”, “Ma”, “Mee”, “Amma” and whatever variation you’d like to add. Who is a mother? Theodore Jennings, the theologian, says that mothers, according to Jesus, are not just the ones who procreate but ones who do the will of God. And rightly so, there are many out there who do the will of God – in playing the role of a mother. There are those who become mothers in bringing forth life and there are those who become mothers in sustaining life by being motherly.
I strongly believe that God is not someone seated up there far away from human experience but dwells amidst us, living and struggling with us and moving within us. Perhaps this is why I am going to start praying: “Our Mother, who art on Earth!” This motherly Being, the El-Shaddai – the Breasted One, feeds us, cares for us, touches us, empathizes with us, provides for and protects us and keeps drawing us back to herself. This is the God I know for this is the mother I have known. She shows me what God might be like.
May God the Mother bless and keep safe all the mothers, single mothers, soon-to-be mothers and the ones who are motherly to others.