WE often think of God as Father. And a father's strength, courage, dependability, and so forth certainly do offer us insights into God's nature. Yet, a mother's tender love, compassion, mercy, are also encompassed in God's omnipotent goodness. Thinking of God as both Father and Mother, then, expands our understanding, and we begin to see God's nature more fully.
The motherhood of God is seen and expressed through such qualities as purity and joy. But none of us is restricted to reflecting just one part or aspect of God. God is the source of all the qualities that His child, spiritual man, reflects. And these God-bestowed qualities are good and permanent.
God is the source of all good qualities. And God's goodness is expressed through man, His image and likeness. If comfort or love seems to be elusive, we can turn to God to understand man's spiritual oneness with God, his Father-Mother.
We have this Biblical promise in the book of Isaiah: ``As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." God comforts and cares for His children --He lovingly watches over them. If we feel separated from God's comfort, we can turn to Him in quiet communion and ask Him to guide and protect us. Prayer is the basis of the spiritual understanding that enables us to do this. It nourishes our spiritual sense; it leads us to God.
The more fully we understand God, the more clearly we see that the strength and power of the fatherhood and the compassion and forgiveness of the motherhood of God are inseparable. Christ Jesus reflected both the fatherhood and motherhood of God in his healing and teaching. Jesus' Christliness was manifested in his compassion, spiritual authority, meekness; it enabled him to love and to heal even in the face of hostility and resistance.
A fuller understanding of the Mother-love of God transforms our expression of love with a broader concept of God's care for His children. God's love for His creation nourishes not only mother and child but all relationships. And the Father-love of God establishes consistency and power to bless everyone.
I glimpsed something of God as Father-Mother in a healing I had after weaning our first child. I had noticed a lump in my breast. This occasionally happens, but usually lasts only a few days. When the condition didn't disappear, I became very fearful. I then began to pray. I thought of God and recalled the Bible promise that He comforts like a mother. I knew God to be the creator only of good. A warm certainty of God's love came over me. I felt comforted, and I was no longer fearful. I began to understan d that just as I love my child and care for her health and nourishment, God loves and cares for both of us as His children.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties." It wasn't long after I gained a clearer understanding of God as Mother and expanded my spiritual sense of Him as Father-Mother that I was permanently healed.
The purity and constancy that man--our genuine individuality--reflects from his Father-Mother God are always intact. And man naturally reflects all the qualities of good, which originate in God. Man, God's image, finds God to be all-loving in every circumstance. It's this divine Love that man feels and is com- forted with. Thus we feel God close by because He is man's Father-Mother.