I’m aware that the subject matter of this post may make you cringe. I hope that you will be open to it and take just a few seconds to think about it before you dismiss it totally.
God as She. I honestly never thought of this concept until the summer after my sophomore year in college. I have to admit that as someone who struggled with my real father growing up, I had a hard time understanding God’s love when it was always talked about as a “father’s love.” This was explained away to me by many by saying, “But God is the perfect father – here on earth it doesn’t always happen the way that God wants it to.” Although I understood that, it was hard for me to comprehend just how incredible God’s love was for me. Then I met Pastor Stacy Boorn in San Francisco, California. She used feminine images of God and it completely blew my mind. I began to truly understand just how incredible God was. God became BOTH parents in my mind – not just a father. It was such a relief for me to begin to understand that God had characteristics that were both masculine and feminine. I began to understand that I COULD relate to God. I could probably write a book about the first time I was introduced to this image, but that’s not the point of today’s post.
If we look in the Bible, there are many different images of God – both masculine and feminine. God is portrayed as a loving father, a good shepherd, a passionate lover, a mighty king. And then God is portrayed as a creator, as a mother in labor, as one who gave birth, as a mother who comforts her child. Rob Bell tells us that the Hebrew word for compassion is the same word for “womb” – so all those places in the Bible where God is a “compassionate God” also means God is “full of womb”?
In Genesis, we’re told that we are created in God’s image. So if God is just HE, then what does that say about me as a woman? That I’m created in God’s image, but only sort of – because to be truly created in the image of God, I have to be male? If we understand God has having both masculine and feminine characteristics, then we can better understand ourselves as being created in God’s image – we each have a little bitty piece of God … and yet none of us have all of the characteristics of God – because let’s face it, we can’t possibly have every single masculine and feminine characteristic of God all at the same time!
So why are we so uncomfortable with this imagery? Why do people get so defensive when we begin to call God “Mothering God” instead of “Father God”? Why can’t we accept that we will never completely understand God as long as we are here on this earth – and that maybe, just maybe, God is so much bigger than we could possibly fathom that God can’t be confined to pronouns?
I don’t have any answers today – just questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts.