Love's embrace

Walking in a public park one day, I came close to a mother duck and her twelve ducklings. As I drew nearer, all the ducklings immediately ran rapidly toward their mother, who opened her wings wide. They all scuttled underneath and in a few seconds were so completely covered by her wings that any subsequent passer-by would have been unaware of the feathered family. The incident symbolized for me a wonderful assurance of God's protecting care.

Christ Jesus once lamented: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Matt. 23:37 . If God were understood to be Mother as well as Father, maybe we would more often turn to divine Love for comfort. Theology that stresses primarily God's fatherhood sometimes suggests a sense of sternness. Christian Science teaches that Deity is both our Father and our Mother, always blessing His children, as Jesus pointed out.

In my Sunday School class of fiveand six-year-olds we were trying to get some ideas about the spiritual interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, as given in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy. The opening words, "Our Father which art in heaven," are given the spiritual interpretation, "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious." Science and Health, p. 16. We talked about the importance of God being our Father-Mother instead of just my Father-Mother. The prayer continues further on, "Give us this day our daily bread; Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections. " Ibid., p. 17 . I asked what the "grace for to-day" was. One little boy replied that it was love, and another five-year-old then proclaimed, "Love cuddles us, doesn't it?" I couldn't help feeling that her spontaneous comment had special significance, since there are times when we all feel the need of being gently and tenderly loved.

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Lazarus, come forth!
June 28, 1982

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