Dave Brisbin 5.9.21
Mother’s Day. A few years ago I was asked: I know God loves me, but how do I know he likes me? Made me smile immediately, as it cut right to the heart of things.
Love can means so many things to us, but like is pretty specific—implies affection, genuine delight, pleasure, desire to be with, playful attention, fun. God’s love may hold the fabric of the universe together, but God’s like is what makes us feel loved. Knowing we are liked is one of our most basic needs and is usually what we experience first from our mothers. If we’re not sure God likes us, it’s because we’ve never experienced him as mother, maybe never admitted the possibility of such a thing as Mother God to ourselves or each other. Yet scripture teaches just that. Though God is referred to as Father, there is a perfect balance between ideal masculine and feminine qualities conveyed throughout both Old and New Testaments.
Hochkmah, God’s wisdom, is personified as female in the book of Proverbs, and the Hebrew words for spirit and kingdom, ruach and malkutha, are both feminine, meaning we could literally refer to God’s spirit as “she” and kingdom as queendom. God is often portrayed in feminine terms as in Hosea where God takes his people in his arms, picks them up and holds them to his cheek, draws them with affection, feeds them and cares for them. In the gospels, Jesus always leads with touch, connection, affection before teaching and instruction, showing us it’s only when we have experienced the touch of Mother God in our day to day lives that we can begin to understand the love of Father God at all. God is a perfect God only when both justice and mercy, knowledge and wisdom, discipline and relationship, male and female, mother and father are equally honored and present. The perfect parent is dad acting like mom and mom acting like dad…acceptance and change balanced in a love that contains liking as well.