Did you know that Mother's Day originated during the time of the Civil War and it was meant as a day for all mothers to stand together for peace?
Mothers were tired of watching their sons being sent off to war to be killed or wounded. They believed they could join together and call for everyone to give a present to their mother, peace on Earth.
Today as a minister who assists people in developing their own spiritual journeys, I am compelled to examine the concept of God as Mother. People at different stages of their spiritual development require different tools to assist them in gaining insight and strength from relying on their spirituality as a viable means of support in their lives. There comes a point when we all need some good old-fashioned mothering.
Every tradition has a strong female presence within their mythology. Christians have Mary. You can pick from an assortment of them, mainly Mary the mother of Jesus. Jews have strong female characters at various times throughout the Bible, like Ester.
But the more fascinating Jewish “feminine” is the Shechinah, the actual part of God that is feminine! In Islam we have Khadijad. Buddhism has Kuan Yin, Goddess of compassion and more. Hinduism has too many to even mention them all.
She keeps coming into our lives. Reminding us of that very unique aspect of nurturing that we all need. It can come through her to strengthen our spiritual side. Spirituality is a specific aspect of everyone's being. It is the place where we can heal all the wounds of the physical, emotional and mental aspects of our lives.
Imagine God as Goddess. Think of the concept of unconditional love. It probably follows more naturally. Think of the womb as that place of absolute safety and comfort. All our needs are met there. Think of a mother adoring her child and fill yourself up with its sweetness.
What if the Divine is Mother or at least part Mother and part Father? The Native American cultures called the earth our Mother. The Earth, the source of all our needs, provides air, water and all the basics that we need. Looking at the Divine in this respect can complete us.
This Mother's Day I challenge all of us to first thank and bless the mothers that gave birth to us. But I then want you to think about God as Mother. Allow yourself to be given all the things you thought your birth mother did not or could not give you.
Did you need more nurturing? Did you need more validation, comfort or feelings of safety? Would you like to be held in the arms of unconditional love?
This will be an experience of real peace. A deep peace from within and it is here that we can answer the original call of Mother's Day. For as the old song goes, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
Happy Mother's Day!