"Methodists praise God the Mother"; "The Pope stopped short of saying God is female." These are just two amongst many headlines published early this year in the national newspapers throughout the United Kingdom.
God's fatherhood and motherhood have significance for parents. Recognizing God as both Father and Mother removes a false sense of responsibility for parenting and lifts the burden parents sometimes feel. In fact, studying the textbook of Christian Science eventually gave me the freedom to enjoy motherhood without stress or worry.
My husband and I had longed for a family for some years. Then, here we were, parents at last, holding a tiny, delicate, underweight bundle. From day one, we treated this child like fragile china. She didn't walk until she was nearly two, because we were afraid she might break. Instead, she developed other skills where there was no danger of breakage. She could talk with ease by the time she was ten months and sang with perfect pitch at eighteen months. Then one day when we weren't watching, she just got up and walked. Still, as a result of our anxiety and protectiveness, she became a frail and sickly child.
By the time I was given a copy of Science and Health, this child was already on medication of all sorts and under a number of medical specialists' care for an eating disorder and retarded growth. She was underweight and had continual earaches, enlarged adenoids, and persistent tonsillitis. We were waiting for appointments for her to have surgery, and we seemed to have taken permanent residence in doctors' waiting rooms. Her baby sister had caught up with her in size and had left her far behind.
Studying Science and Health, however, revolutionized my thought. The book is full of references to the mothering of God. Its author, Mary Baker Eddy, must have come to know God very well as Mother, because only someone who had had a firsthand experience of the mothering of God could explain it in such deeply touching terms. What happened to my daughter after I caught Mrs. Eddy's insight into God as Mother was just short of a miracle. Even today I am still awed by the wonder of God's mothering love. If it weren't for the photographs and the charting on our bathroom door, no one would believe that this child had ever been anything other than the tall, sturdy, healthy young lady she is today.
Reading this book, I became aware that my constant fear and anxiety were impositions on her that were hiding her God-given freedom and rights from view. One day I read in Science and Health, "Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God. Spirit names and blesses all" (p. 507).
The law of God left nothing incomplete.
Discovering God as Mother was the revolution I so desperately needed on wearisome days. I suddenly saw that motherhood was not a burden. This was because God gave my daughter her life. In fact, God is Life, and He/She always maintains and preserves her life.
This divine Mother cared for me, as well as for my child. I no longer saw myself only as a wife or a mother but as a loved child of God. I felt such freedom and joy, and I stopped worrying about her. This passage also helped me a lot: "Thus the ideas of God in universal being are complete and forever expressed, for Science reveals infinity and the fatherhood and motherhood of Love" (ibid., p. 519).
Since God creates His/Her children perfectly whole and complete, nothing I did could add or take away from that spiritual creation. God's work was done, and I just had to trust that the law of God, divine Love, left nothing incomplete.
I wondered if I should throw away all the vitamins and remedies prescribed for her. I knew I needed to replace them with something. So I did. That day I went home and threw the whole lot away. I replaced them with the mothering qualities of God, divine Love. I deeply trusted that God was her Mother, who cared for and watched over this child. I never doubted for a moment Her tender relation to her, Her own precious child. Each day I understood more clearly that God is my daughter's true source of being. The law of Love gives her strength and is the foundation of her being, secure and firm. She wasn't my creation. No matter what I did or thought, she was not tied to me but to God, her actual Mother. Since God was expressing His love to this child, she lacked nothing. Divine Principle was the law of Love that influenced her every action and function.
That was it. This child just took off. She grew and put on weight long before her eating disorder was completely corrected. As I stopped worrying and became confident about who her real Mother was, she just blossomed. The tonsillitis never returned, the adenoids returned to normal, and her appetite became normal. She never had another earache. She became coordinated and strong, and started to play sports and join in all normal activities. She never looked back. And I started to enjoy being a mother, loving her and caring for her without any stress or strain. I understood that the source of her true being is her eternal Mother and Father—God.