Recently it was Mother’s Day here in the UK and honestly I’m not sure I feel I’ve been a mother long enough to have much to do with it. Inspired by the holiday, however, I came up with a little amusing way of looking at the characteristics of motherhood shown by God. I believe God has a sense of humour and teaching doesn’t have to be serious at all times. I also believe I can be stupidly childish and He doesn’t mind that either, in fact He might quite enjoy it. I also also believe passionately in creativity. Add all this together and be warned this God Talk will be pretty weird; I’m OK with that.
Once upon a time I was given an activity I have loved ever since: as a class we read through the Jabberwocky, a strange and brilliant poem featured in the wild Wonderland created by Lewis Carroll. We were then instructed to choose one of the imaginary creatures named in the poem and draw what we thought they may look like. We came up with the widest range of drawings and there were some really interesting assumptions about what type of creations they were.
I am going to request the same type of creativity to create a fun image of God’s motherly qualities. As each bit comes up I would like you to doodle a part of the animal. There will be suggestions but of course go with the flow if you’d rather. By the end we’ll probably have a really cool but strange image – but what’s the fun in normal?! We’re going to be starting off with:
God as Lion & Lamb – just because. Don’t question me! We need a base and this was as good as any. So in my childish mind both lion and lamb means half of each… so a fluffy lion, or lioness with a woollen jumper? This represents the incredible regal nature of God (and the fierceness that comes with it), but also God’s perfect softness, gentle and healing.
God described as a mother bear
“Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and tear them asunder…”
Bears are huge and powerful. When defending their cubs they will stand feet above any man and shatter bones with one hit of those giant paws. If this doesn’t get you, the weight of her will as she charges towards you. Plus she is famous for bear hugs, so there! God the bear is seriously powerful.
God described as a mother eagle
“Like the eagle that stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young, God spreads wings to catch you, and carries you on pinions.”
If you’ve ever seen an eagle fly or hunt you will have been amazed. Eyes focus in and know with such exactness how to do what it needs to. When something falls, an eagle could catch it in its claws without hesitation. God the eagle knows how to provide for it’s young and is far stronger than it looks. She would probably also steal my lunch but God wouldn’t so we’re OK.
God as a Mother Hen
Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Matthew 23:37 & Luke 13:34
Life is tough sometimes but isn’t it nice to think of a nice fluffy wing to hide under? Just think: it’s stormy and wet outside, people are yelling at you and trying to throw things at you, but God is a giant chicken who covers you up so you are safe and cosy and warm. Perfect!
God as a woman in labour
God: “For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant.”
This isn’t an animal like the others but if you’ve ever been around a woman in labour you might disagree (I can say that because I definitely squawked! There’s sweat and power and noise in her voice and although it’s not exactly easy to draw it’s at least a slightly amusing addition to your doodle. Also if God is a woman in labour you do not want to mess with her!
So in conclusion… what exactly should we take from this?
God is incredibly regal, perfectly soft, seriously powerful (especially in hugs), intelligently precise and strong, amazingly protective, mother with a fierce voice, and you should not mess with Her!
I would love to see your doodles if you got this far! If you want to send them to me I will share them and pick a favourite! Go on, you know you want to!