God's mothering promise

A Christian Science perspective: The first Mother’s Day after her mother had passed on, this author found mothering comfort in an unlikely setting – from a male teenage clerk in a convenience store.

My mom and I were very close well into my adulthood, and the first Mother’s Day after her passing, I was feeling sad. In that misty state of thought, I went on an errand and parked my car in an illegal spot, from which it was towed to a remote lot.

Needing cash to retrieve the car, I walked to a faraway convenience store, where I couldn’t get the ATM to function. In desperation I appealed to the teenage clerk behind the counter. Looking at me kindly, the young man calmly and capably took matters in hand. His caring manner made me feel wrapped in tenderness, reassurance – motherliness. As he retrieved my money, I said with sincerity, “Happy Mother’s Day,” and he smiled in response.

It was clear to me that day that God was fulfilling His promise, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13). The creator of man as both “male and female” in His image (see Genesis 1:27) is always mothering His creation. This is the spiritual reality of existence – the way things really are, even when God’s mothering love seems absent in our own lives or neighborhood or on the other side of the globe. Yet I’ve found that as I prayerfully cherish Love’s universal presence and strive to be more caring, I see signs of God’s love being more widely expressed.

Christ Jesus, forever doing the will of his divine Parent, conveyed God’s maternal nature in his healing and teaching. How tenderly he treated those who came to him for healing. And in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, the father demonstrated the constancy and compassion of motherhood, as well as his fatherhood, with both of his sons. Today in those former Bible lands, and everywhere, God’s motherly comfort and guidance are surely present to bless citizens who seek rescue from economic and political turmoil. 

Through her Bible study, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, discerned God’s loving, feminine nature and described Deity, in part, as “the affectionate Father and Mother of all He creates” (“Unity of Good,” p. 48). Mrs. Eddy herself was known for the great affection she expressed toward humanity.

No matter how challenging the circumstance – whether it be in Somalia, Syria, or right at home – the valuing of God’s ever-present mothering can help us see increasing evidence that God is always fulfilling His promise of comfort. Then we, too, are comforted.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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