Mother, Father, and Child

I always knew a mother’s love.

My mother was never perfect, because no one is. There have been plenty of times as an adult that I’ve looked back on my childhood ticking my fingers, thinking about what could have been done better, or handled differently. But on this point there was never a doubt: my mother has, and continues to, love me fiercely, wildly, with a passion I can’t explain.

When an angel of the Lord—or a pregnancy test, whichever you want to call it—informed her she was going to have a baby, even though she would have to do it alone, with little money and and even less support, she said, I’ll do it. And she fought to bring me into this world, and to raise me the best she could. She did her best, every minute of every day.

I personally think it was one of the best decisions she ever made.

I didn’t always feel that way, though. There were plenty of times in my life when I wondered why I was here, or if my life mattered at all. I didn’t like myself very much, and I thought my presence was an undue burden in this world.

When those negative feelings began to reach their peak, I finally turned to the Above. Because therapy was only getting me so far, and prescription drugs made my hair fall out. And despite my mother’s love, and the love of the people around me, everyone was only human. I needed something divine.

So when I turned to my Creator, I found the Mother easily—the love my mother had, the love I felt for my own children. That motherly love in the form of the divine did not feel like so much of a stretch.

But what of this “Father” so many Christians speak about? Who was he, and what does his love feel like?

Growing up without a father (who is now in my life, thank God), I did not know a father’s love, and I couldn’t relate to the entire Christian tradition because of it. All I knew of the Father was that he was distant and unavailable, and for a long time, that reality impacted my relationships with men. If I could just get this man to love me, or that one to find me attractive, all would be well. I would finally be whole.

It doesn’t work that way.

What I am finding about the Christian tradition is that everything is there, the seeds are planted, we just haven’t been taught to look the right way. We’ve been living under illusions, and it’s time to be set free.

Because at the core of the Jesus teachings we have a Trinity: not Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (though, if that works for you, feel free.). No, it’s Father, Mother, and Child.

The Father is the absent one, the mysterious force that sets us on this strange path of life. We don’t know or understand him—he is cloaked. We don’t know why he gives us these tests throughout our life, this need for soul growth, but we must endure, and do.

The Mother is what’s often been called the Holy Spirit. She is the comforter. She moves through this earthly realm, tending to us when we are in need. She works through others, giving us messages or hugs or a rainbow when our spirits need uplifting. She is ever-present, listening to us, always available to answer our prayers.

And then there is the Child—us. Jesus is an example of the child learning to move through the world. He is our signpost, our guide, if we’ll have him. He shows us that on this journey called life, we are most free and content when we love other people, when we forgive betrayals, when we walk wise as serpents and harmless as doves. He encourages us to be true to ourselves and true to others, and not let the concerns and corruption of the material world destroy our spirits.

We will suffer in this life, because no one gets out alive. (Sorry.) But there is always the chance to redeem ourselves. There is always the opportunity for renewal and rising up. We are always held by the Mother, and in awe of the Father’s mystery, the dark unexplained.

Jesus was a man, yes, but that doesn’t mean women can’t find themselves in him. And besides, we live in a new age. Who is to say we are not living in the time of the Daughter?

Who is to say the next Messiah won’t be a woman?

Who is to say that woman can’t be me?


“DSCF4871”by Pere Nadal is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Categories: motherhood, spirituality and faith

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