Lent, Day 24

I’ll admit the first time I read an article about the “breasts of God” I was given a bit of pause. But once I moved beyond my immaturity I found a truly beautiful message of the Divine Feminine the Scriptures and Church fathers discussed.

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!

God’s love is like a woman’s love for her suckling child- but with this difference: that even though occasionally a few human mothers may fail their children, God will not ever forget her little ones. To say this is not to say that motherlove is an inferior kind of love. It is only to say that human love is not able to be as constant, reliable, or consistent as divine love. Clearly the comparison of God’s love with the love of a nursing mother indicates that in the author’s eyes, such motherlove is the most constant, most reliable, and most consistent of all forms of human caring.

The image of God as nursing humankind is found in the words of Moses, the words of the Book of II Esdras, 1 Peter, the Gospel of John, Hosea, the Psalms and in the words of early (male) Christian authors. Clement of Alexandria writes of “the milk flowing from the Father,” and “the care-banishing breast’ of God the Father,” demonstrating the uncomfortably hermaphroditic imagery that arises when people feel stuck with a masculine deity yet experience from God what feels to them like feminine ministrations. Surely we would be wiser to use the pronoun that matches the image as we are using at the moment! Alternatively, we might be wise to avoid sex-specific pronouns when speaking of a God who is simultaneously both male and female and neither male nor female.

-Adapted from The Divine Feminine, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

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