God as Mother

'THANKS Mom.'' When individuals receive awards for outstanding achievements, they sometimes say this.

It's wonderful to have a loving and devoted mother. But so many people in the world have missed out on this, for one reason or another. The book of Isaiah in the Bible says, ''As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem'' (66:13). All of us, whether male or female, whether or not we have children of our own, and regardless of age, can know God as Mother. Each of us can express qualities of motherhood: nurturing, devotion, and compassion. We can each do this in a special and individual way. And it is helpful to think of God as the source of this expression.

The Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, studied all that Christ Jesus taught and did. Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is based on his teachings. Here is a statement from the book that relates to this discussion: ''Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation'' (p. 332). Since it says in the Bible that God is Spirit, and that God made man in His image and likeness, man is a spiritual creation. As such no one can ever lose the special relationship he or she has with God.

Mrs. Eddy used the word Father for God, as well as the word Mother. This was because the Bible also refers to God as our Father. And just as you can know God as a nurturing Mother, so too you can think of Him as a Father who is always guiding, supporting, and protecting you. If God is the Father and Mother of all, we are actually brothers and sisters in God's universal family. No one is without a brother or sister, or deprived of the opportunity to be one to others.

If for some reason you have been separated from your mother, this doesn't mean you cannot experience the devotion and love a mother has for her child. God's love is not abstract and far off; it is expressed in our lives in tangible ways that meet our present needs. Knowing more of God as Father, Mother, sister, and brother helps sweeten all of our human relationships.

Yes God is ever present, always with us. And as we unselfishly seek to express His mothering qualities to other people, something wonderful happens: these qualities are expressed back to us, in many different ways, through others. The fact is, what we hold in consciousness shows up in our lives. I have had many individuals besides my mom comfort me when I needed it.

If you learn to hold God's qualities in your thoughts, you will begin to see these qualities expressed all around. As I write this, there is a mother bird that has made a nest in the middle of a pasture by my home. She has been sitting on four eggs for quite a long time-in fact several months. I have admired how she will not abandon her eggs, no matter what. If we get too close, she defends the nest. She keeps the eggs warm at night, cool during the day, and patiently shelters them in the wind and the rain. This reminds me of how God never gives up on or abandons us either.

Many times mothers themselves need mothering, especially those who have not been nurtured when they were children. Sometimes they in turn have not nurtured their young. If you believe you are a deprived parent because of your parents, you can stop this vicious cycle. You can take heart by understanding what the Bible says in the book of Ezekiel: ''What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine'' (18:2-4). Because of God's nurturing love, we can change our thinking, and thus our lives, for the better. We do not have to repeat the same mistakes our parents made; we can start fresh, listen for God's guidance on how to be a better parent, and grow.

God's love is unconditional and always available to those who turn to Him in prayer. God is right here, caring for all of us.

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