I HAVE a friend, a single parent, whose happiest times are on winter evenings after she leaves work. She picks up her children, gives each one a big hug, and takes them home. Once inside, she switches on the lights, stokes up the furnace, and prepares dinner. Later, she helps with homework, supervises lunchmaking and piano practice, and sees the children to bed. Others may see weariness in all this, but my friend loves it, for it is motherhood to her. Thinking of her love for her children makes me think of God's tender care. We're accustomed to thinking of God as Father -- the Bible speaks of Him often in this way. But since it is God, divine Spirit, who actually creates man, His likeness, who nurtures him and provides for every need, Mother is also an accurate description of God. The book of Isaiah, for example, records God's care for H is children in these words: ``As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.''
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, describes God as Father and Mother many times in her writings. ``In divine Science, man is sustained by God, the divine Principle of being,'' she says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. And she continues: ``The earth, at God's command, brings forth food for man's use. Knowing this, Jesus once said, `Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,' -- presuming not on the prerogative of his creator, but recognizing God, the Father and Mother of all, as able to feed and clothe man as He doth the lilies.''
I've found the idea of someone turning on the lights, and cleaning and warming the home, helpful in a symbolic way. Isn't the real need in most homes the light of truth and the warmth of love? This is what the Mother-love of God can bring to our lives. The whole idea of God as Father and Mother means that man is the child of God. He has spiritual, not biological, parentage.
God's love for each of His children is always at work, turning us, as we're receptive, to the truth of our genuine spiritual being. A glimpse of who we really are can be like a light suddenly turned on in our thought. One day, for example, we might be struggling to know what to do, but the next day, helped by our own wholehearted prayerful desire to see the right way, we suddenly know what to do because we perceive something of our relationship to God as His child, always cared for.
Our Father-Mother's love works on a perfect, spiritual basis. Every individual is important. No individual is overlooked or neglected, because His love is actual spiritual law.
Christ Jesus shows this in one of his short parables, which illustrates the importance of even one sinner's repenting. He says, as Luke's Gospel tells us: ``What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.''
Since God is infinite Spirit, He is present everywhere. So that unspeakable, incomparable love that characterizes our God is everywhere as well. It is God's love that impels change for the better and that brings forth all the genuine love in our lives. But it takes our prayerful, wholehearted effort to bring it into view. Once we catch a glimmer of it, however, continued work will bring the warmth of this love to every corner of the home.