Bearer of all, bent over the world,
Toiling and tending, watching and weeping,
surround me by your Spirit, as I was once held,
in the dark waters of another’s body.
Once carried and bathed, rocked and dandled
be with me as I walk this day’s road like a grown-up.
Cherish my specialness as I make my way in the crowd
Be the natural love grounding my body
because I am made in the image of you.
Be the tender gaze that sees all I do
and cannot stop loving even when I need to learn.
Be as a lioness, protectress, still but ready
for when my untamed wandering would meet with harm.
I set out in the memory and desire of your care this day.
May Mother God above me bless me with a child-like trust, simple and true.
May Grandmother Spirit smiling within me
bless me with an old wise love that has put away childish grasp.
May Mother Earth beneath me
bless me with awe and wonder at her gifts around me
as if seeing with the eyes of a child this day.
(from Tess Ward, The Celtic Wheel of the Year: Celtic and Christian Seasonal Prayers)
it is isn’t it! I love the challenge it provides in encouraging us to think about God in such explicitly feminine/motherly tones.
It definitely is—she takes the best of motherhood and applies it to God. He* is the best mother, for sure.
(*)‘He’ at the lack of a better term. God is not a male. Jesus is, though…
such a shame our language doesn’t give us the adequate facilities to talk about God in a way that includes female and male, brings them together, and transcends them both
Well, God transcends our thought processes and therefore our language. God doesn’t agree in gender—or number, for that matter… three persons in a single person. He (she? they-in-one?) has no tense, either—no beginning or end.
But I take all that in stride; the bits about God I find hard to grasp are those about God’s name being hallowed and not mine… God’s will being done instead of mine… asking for subsistence wages instead of riches… forgiving my enemies… resisting temptation instead of indulging myself… recognizing that I have no kingdom, no power and no glory because they are all his… that’s the hard part.
I’m very glad that I can always rest in God’s arms of a mother… I’m her child for ever, nothing I could do to make her love me so… nothing I can do to stop her loving me so. There’s no failure or merit there. Only peace, and warmth, and simply being.
Thanks again, Ruth.
cool, Julio, thanks
I really really love this! Thanks for sharing! It’s been one very specific way God has been revealing Herself to me lately. (May I share this as well?)
I think it’s quite fantastic. Though I’ve not come across grandmother spirit before! Interesting in classical tinitarian terms! One phrase I’ve found useful, especially in public worship, is to address God as ‘Genderful God’, something I picked up in the mid nineties, I think.
Thanks John, that’s nice.