Tuesday, February 9, 2010
This video captures what I think we all know but need reminding from time to time. God is neither male nor female, yet has characteristics we associate with being male and female. I know this, but still, I find myself picturing that old white guy with a beard. I guess I found it comforting to think of God like a protective grandfatherly figure. This God seemed safe and approachable. This God seemed knowable. But this God(the one I had created in my mind), became harder to relate to. How could I ask this old Grandfather to help me raise my children, balance my life, find rest and Sabbath, relate to my husband, enjoy my girlfriends? How could this God actually know what it is like to be stressed out in the way women are often stressed out? How could this God possibly understand all the demands on me as a wife, a mother,a woman in ministry? I found myself thinking, "Yeah, I know you are there for me. But you are one of them. You're not like me. I know you feel for me, but you've never actually been here, so I guess there's nothing to say about this." I didn't, I couldn't see God as a woman, because that would be just as bad as seeing God with a beard. So, that's where I stopped for a while. But then, I began to make some important connections. That unconditional love you have for a child who just looked at you defiantly and did something you told her was bad for her. I could see God scooping me up and embracing me even though I had broken his trust. That gut wrenching feeling when you see someone you care about in pain. I could see God weeping and wailing, frustrated and feeling helpless. The moments when your heart gets ripped open by a harsh word, an argument, someone's judgments about you, or any of the other ways people let us down or go out of their way to break us down. I can see God's disappointment, agony, feelings of betrayal. Compassion, healing, comforting, patience, trust, hope, unconditional love. Gifts we women get from the God who created us in God's image.