God our Mother

In a previous church, every year on Mother’s Day I would lead a worship service based around thinking of God as mother. There are plenty of scriptural references to God as mother: from being the hen gathering us under her wings (Matthew 23), to the image of the weaned child sitting on mother’s lap content in her presence no longer yearning (Psalm 131) a and many others in between. Since having children, the image of God as Mother has taken on more powerful meaning for me, since I know how I love my own children and can better imagine the kind of love God might have for me. So when a friend suggested a podcast by The Liturgists on God our Mother, I went searching for some more mother inspiration. I was not disappointed.

Halfway through the podcast, poet Alison Woodard reads the following, and it needs no further comment from me:

To be a Mother is to suffer;

To travail in the dark,

stretched and torn,

exposed in half-naked humiliation,

subjected to indignities

for the sake of new life.

 

To be a Mother is to say,

“This is my body, broken for you,”

And, in the next instant, in response to the created’s primal hunger,

“This is my body, take and eat.”

 

To be a Mother is to self-empty,

To neither slumber nor sleep,

so attuned You are to cries in the night—

Offering the comfort of Yourself,

and assurances of “I’m here.”

 

To be a Mother is to weep

over the fighting and exclusions and wounds

your children inflict on one another;

To long for reconciliation and brotherly love

and—when all is said and done—

To gather all parties, the offender and the offended,

into the folds of your embrace

and to whisper in their ears

that they are Beloved.

 

To be a mother is to be vulnerable—

To be misunderstood,

Railed against,

Blamed

For the heartaches of the bewildered children

who don’t know where else to cast

the angst they feel

over their own existence

in this perplexing universe

 

To be a mother is to hoist onto your hips those on whom your image is imprinted,

bearing the burden of their weight,

rejoicing in their returned affection,

delighting in their wonder,

bleeding in the presence of their pain.

 

To be a mother is to be accused of sentimentality one moment,

And injustice the next.

To be the Receiver of endless demands,

Absorber of perpetual complaints,

Reckoner of bottomless needs.

 

To be a mother is to be an artist;

A keeper of memories past,

Weaver of stories untold,

Visionary of lives looming ahead.

 

To be a mother is to be the first voice listened to,

And the first disregarded;

To be a Mender of broken creations,

And Comforter of the distraught children

whose hands wrought them.

 

To be a mother is to be a Touchstone

and the Source,

Bestower of names,

Influencer of identities;

Life giver,

Life shaper,

Empath,

Healer,

and

Original Love.

-atw, 9.28.17

Posted by Kelly Dombroski.

Oasis

I am clinging to a fleeting moment of calm

Oasis

I am scared that my heartache will return

Tentative

“In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.”

Psalm 20:1 (NLT)

I feel – 

like I have managed to grasp a precious moment of peace, away from the verge of tears.

let me find rest in this tranquility.

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?”

Isaiah 51:12 (NLT)

I desire

Peace and comfort during this time.

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

John 14:27 (NLT)

My breath becomes prayer – both are vital.

Inhale – you are here, Lord

Exhale – nothing else matters.

Emily is a student, writer, and creative thinker from Auckland, New Zealand. Read more of her writing at emilyontheinternetblog.wordpress.com 

Feature Image: “Calm” by David Robertson. Accessed via Flickr.

The Letter W

God is like the letter W.

She fills the hole inside us and makes us whole,
sometimes silently,
and when we listen, we can’t hear the difference.

But when we look, the smallest change gives a new meaning to the word
and The Word becomes part of a sentence
and the sentence becomes the story of our life.

“God,” I asked. “Are you sure you’re in the story?
Sometimes I just can’t see you
in the chapters
in the pages.”

“Emily,” She responds. “I am the one writing it.
And in every character I create, I add a little bit of myself.

Just like you do.”

Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.’

 – Genesis 1:26a

 

Emily is a student, writer, and creative soul from Auckland, New Zealand. She blogs fortnightly at emilyontheinternetblog.wordpress.com 

Image: ‘W’ by Wee Sen Goh. Accessed via Flickr.

Rain/God

The following is a reworking of the poem ‘Rain’ by Hone Tuwhare; words in bold are taken from the original poem.  If it’s not raining where you are as you read this, use this rain noise generator to help recreate the ambiance. 🙂 

Rain/God

I can hear you
making small holes
; piercing through
the silence
– when I calm myself enough to listen.
You are there.

If I were deaf,
(and often I am deaf to you,)
the pores of my skin
, my lungs, my eyes,
would open to you
and shut

and now you are within me,
You always are.
In every fibre, and pore, and cell
You are my source of life,
The water for my soul.

And I – as disconnected as I may be
should
always know you 
by the lick of you
as “heaven meets earth/ like a sloppy wet kiss,”
you love relentlessly and passionately
in this messy world.
And if I were blind to you, the days I can’t see you
as my own insecurities cloud my vision,
You would still be there.

You are in the steady
drum-roll sound
you make
, like the white noise frequency I need to tune in to
when the wind drops
, and I finally let you speak
to me.

But if I
should not hear
smell or feel or see
you

You would still
define me
disperse me
wash over me
God.

 

Emily changes her bio every time she writes a contribution. ‘Rain’ is one of her favourite poems, and she writes her own poetry at Emily On The Internet.

Song of Songs

 

What can I give you?

My garden and the

shaft to my gold mine.

 

What can you give me?

Send your dove to se-

ttle on my navel.

 

Sharpen your sword and

pour your anointing

oils over me.

 

Prepare to bed your-

self in my garden. Solid-

ify my inners.

 

I lay my cheeks and

my garments as pools

around my ankles.

 

Our our our our our

skin lain to warm skin.

Our our our our ours.

 


Amy Harris