She never married or had children. But when I think of Nancy, she was as close to a wonderful mother as I could have. She was my Sunday School teacher for several years. But it wasn’t until my teens that I really got to know her.
At first, we would go out for hot chocolate after church. I would tell her about school and my family troubles since my mom’s divorce and remarriage. Then, as time went on, I would stop by for lunch or dinner. Slowly, our relationship grew as we informally “adopted” each other as mother and daughter. I valued her unconditional love, intelligence, wisdom, unselfishness, courage, and complete reliance on God. Her whole life was devoted to helping others. She saw something in me that I yearned to see in myself, which gave me hope for a good future.
It’s been some time since Nancy passed on, but I still think of her and how privileged I was to have had her in my life. Now, as a mother myself, what I especially value are the qualities she expressed because they gave me a glimpse of the motherhood of God.
The Bible, referring to God, says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). And Christ Jesus taught about a loving, forgiving God, who would never leave us comfortless.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, explained this concept further. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation” (p. 332). She also described “Mother” in this way: “God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love” (p. 592).
We all have a tender relationship with our Father-Mother God. This divine Parent is totally good and loves us unconditionally. Our Mother-God is always with us – comforting, supporting, guiding, governing every event of our lives.
If we make a mistake, we are encouraged and nudged forward. If we feel defeated and forlorn, divine Love is there to hold us up. If we feel neglected or abandoned, ever-present Love will fill our emptiness.
Understanding God as Mother frees us from a hurtful past. It fills our heart with a sense of being valued and cherished. And it keeps us from feeling that we are lacking and disadvantaged. It releases us from looking to a person or persons for comfort.
There is never a moment when we could be separated from this Love. It’s impartial, so not one of Love’s children can be loved more or less. There is no competition for this Love. It’s never withheld or given out arbitrarily. It’s totally devoted, remains constant, and is always available.
The more we identify mothering qualities as expressions of God’s love for us, the more we’ll see them in our experience – the kindness of a neighbor, the support of a co-worker, the guidance of a teacher, the forgiveness of a friend.
Through Nancy’s expression of mothering qualities, I began to appreciate God’s motherhood. For anyone who thinks they’ve missed out on mothering – either giving or receiving – know that your Mother-God is always with you, and that you are valued in Her eyes.