Waking up one morning during a very demanding time in my life, one of my first thoughts was, “I wish I had a mother!” Although I have two children of my own, I yearned for the comfort of a close mother-daughter relationship — with me as the daughter. Not only did I yearn to be comforted, but to have the loving counsel of a wise and supportive parent. Then on the heels of that thought came another: You do have a mother — your Mother-Father God that is always providing good and expressing unconditional love toward you.
That might sound unusual to someone who thinks of God only as Father. Although the Bible talks a lot about God’s Fatherhood, there are several verses that bring out God’s Motherhood, as well. For instance, in Isaiah, it says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem” ( Isaiah 66:13). And “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11). And from Revelation: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4). And indeed Jesus promised another Comforter (John 14:16).
Building on this concept, Christian theologian Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. As the apostle expressed it in words that he quoted with approbation from a classic poet: “For we are also His offspring” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, p.516:21).
It makes sense to me that God is both Father and Mother and is not a single parent. Why would God make both male and female after His own image and likeness but only be Father? Appreciating God as including both Father and Mother qualities gives insights into our own character and nature. For instance, there have been times in my own life that I’ve prayed to see more clearly God’s fatherly qualities of strength, protection, provision, integrity and justice. This has brought an assurance that I would be safe and my needs supplied.
Marta Greenwood found the understanding of God’s motherhood to be a healing power when she and her husband finally became parents. They had become overprotective of their young daughter, who was sickly and was receiving medical attention for an eating disorder and retarded growth, among other problems.
At some point, Marta began to study Science and Health, and the concept of God’s Motherhood resonated with her.
“Discovering God as Mother,” she said, “was the revolution I so desperately needed.”
She saw this meant that God maintained and preserved her daughter’s life and cared for herself as well, as her Mother’s loved child.
“I no longer saw myself only as a wife or a mother but as a loved child of God. I felt such freedom and joy, and I stopped worrying about (my daughter).”
As Marta’s fear lessened and her trust in our divine Mother grew, she stopped worrying and her daughter began to blossom. With this new sense of God’s mothering came a trust that God would always be attentive to their needs. And this change of consciousness proved to have a healing effect. All the physical problems Marta’s daughter had been formerly treated for disappeared, and the family never looked back.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, don’t despair if your mother or another mother-figure is not present, or if you don’t have a close relationship with her. Or, if you are struggling with how to be a good mother yourself, there is hope. God’s loving, mothering qualities are all around you. Every evidence of tenderness, compassion, or forgiveness in your life is an indication of God’s mothering presence. As you learn to cherish these more in your life, they will bring the comfort you seek and fill any void.
Valerie Minard writes regularly on the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health. She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in New Jersey. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @valerieminard.