THROUGH a series of unusual circumstances my mother left us when I was four. My dad remarried eight years later. In my early twenties I was reunited with my natural mother. As a child before my dad remarried, I yearned for a real mother, one who would hug me, comfort me, listen to me, and be at home when I came from school each day. I wanted a mother to see me in the school play, to bake homemade bread, and to kiss me good night. My dad did as much as he could for us children, and I loved him very much. But still, not having a mother left an empty feeling in me. Although my dad's second marriage was a happy one and I loved my stepmother, and later resumed a good relationship with my natural mother, I found that no human being, no matter how good, well-meaning, thoughtful, and caring, can be everything to us.
During my teens I began attending a Christian Science Sunday School. Here I learned something of God as Mother as well as Father. For instance, the Bible represents God as saying, ``As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted inJerusalem.''1 And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.''2 Here was the genuine mothering and comforting I yearned for.
Because God is ever present, man can never be separated from His comfort and love. It became natural for me to turn to God in prayer, much as one turns to a human parent, with a sense of confidence and expectancy.
Looking to God as divine Love, as our divine Parent, I found motherhood expressed in many ways. An initial, obvious example was the companionable relationship with my stepmother. Later, away at college, I found God's love expressed by my roommate, classmates, and some of the professors. Not that these individuals knew my background; nor did I verbalize my feelings about mothering. But upon my looking to God as the source of motherhood, I recognized and appreciated His love expressed in more ways than if I had continued to look for one ideal person to meet my longing.
Later, as a mother myself, I assured our daughter that her parents' love and care for her expressed God's love. She could always look to Him as the source of love. It was comforting for us as parents, and for her, to know that although we weren't with her at school or camp or the park, God's ever-presence kept her safe and secure.
God, divine Love, is infinite and therefore cannot be confined to one individual called a natural mother. We seem to be mortals created by other mortals. But in truth divine Love creates man, because God is the only creator. Our true being is the spiritual likeness of Love and expresses Love naturally, freely, without measure. We all know examples of how children, seeing a sorrowing or weary adult, will put their small arms around him and say comforting words. In their childlike purity they're expressing something of God's motherhood.
Christ Jesus, when told that his mother and brethren waited for him, explained, ``Whosoever shall do the will of myFather which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.''3 This standpoint enlarges one's family beyond blood borders. Yet Jesus, by his example of providing care for his mother, also fulfilled the commandment to honor one's parents.4
Whether we are a parent or a child, we can be assured that because God, divine Love, creates man in the image of Love, there is only one Mother. Each of us is the child of that Mother, God, who loves and cherishes us, who comforts, guides, and shelters us. Even in the darkest moments we are inseparable from divine Love, our Father-Mother God. As Science and Health says, ``Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God foreverreflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.''5
1Isaiah 66:13. 2Science and Health, p. 332.3Matthew 12:50. 4See John 19:26, 27. 5Science and Health, p. 516.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3