God as a Mother
Dear Heavenly Mother,
Today, two of my children fought. As one physically injured the other, my primitive instincts kicked in to protect the injured child with any force necessary. However, before I could even move, I saw the face of the offender. He, too, was my child. I must also protect him at all costs. I must even protect him from his mother’s wrath. Both children required my immediate protection, love, and loyalty.
Yet, what do I do when both my both children require my allegiance? I cannot despise one and embrace the other. I cannot hate one and love the other. I cannot take away their agency and make them obey my counsel even though I am certain if they had obeyed, it would have prevented the injury. I am bound by their agency and my unwavering love for them. My resolute love for my children requires that I learn to love godly, but how do I do that? How do you love your children? How do you share your love and allegiance among all of us?
The problem of evil isn’t a problem for me. A God that is an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent parent doesn’t make sense to me. No parent is perfect, even a God. If God were perfect, God could not love when the act of love is transformative, and anything transformative would imply that there was an imperfection or deficiency in God’s countenance to begin with. A perfect God, in a strict philosophical sense, is not a loving God. That God cannot learn, grow, change, or progress. That God cannot create or increase. That God cannot know eternal progression through the transformative power of love. Any change would be a demotion to absolute perfection. I cannot believe God, as a parent, is perfect. If so, perfection is a prison Her children have placed Her in as we blame Her for our own deficiencies.
I do not think you are so different than me. I trust you are more glorified than myself, but that is a difference in degree, not kinship. I trust you are bound by your love for your children, and your promise to give us agency. I imagine you love in ways that I cannot fathom, yet, find myself imperfectly aspiring toward that unfathomable goal. I trust you love us. I trust you learn, grow, and change with us. I suspect that we are one of your finest and most difficult endeavors. I imagine you suffer and weep with us. If I were a creator creating more little creators, I suppose I wouldn’t be doing much differently than you are now.
From a mother to a Mother, I empathize. You need to give us freedom if we are going to ever be creators of our own with wills to manifest, and that means we’re going to be injured and injure our siblings along the way. I gave my children life so that they could live it, not so I could compel them to live it how I think they should live it. Meaning isn’t given, it’s created, and we can’t grow unless our parents let us grow. All we can do is love them and teach them in ways they are willing to accept.
Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I suspect you might be able to say the same. I am grateful for agency, even though it comes with suffering. Agency is required to learn the transformative power of love.
In the name of Christ, amen.
*Published at Rational Faiths on Thursday, November 15, 2018