In my Lutheran childhood, I always thought of God as a man, with a grandfather-like appearance. White hair. Beard. (But a robe instead of the blue seersucker suit my grandpa wore.)
Then, as the woman’s movement took hold, we began to hear God referred to, sometimes, as a SHE.
About that time, my PMS and cramps set in.
Would a woman/God do this to another woman?
Not a prayer!
There is no way, I figured, that God could have even an ounce of womanliness. If God were a she, SHE would have designed us a different way. I like the baby part. I liked being pregnant and of course, am nuts over my grownup babies. But really, couldn’t God have skipped all the cycle stuff?
I’ve been a Presbyterian for thirty-five years now. I asked our minister, Dr. Brizendine, a few months ago, if God was a she or even part she. This is what he wrote:
Male and female are genders of the created order. God is … “other” than the created order. Thus, it would not be appropriate to attribute any gender to God… As we attempt to describe our relationship with God, we may use figures of speech, saying that God is like a mother or a father, but this does not mean that God has a gender.
So God is an OTHER.
I like the concept of “other.”
God is not a man who stuck all this to women.
God is not a woman who ditzed on her own sex.
Good, that works to some extent.
I was contemplating this post in church on Sunday, when we sang the old hymn, “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy.”
A line goes: “For the love of God is broader, than the measures of the mind.”
I think that means my limited mind just can’t wrap itself around the whys of God’s plan for making babies.
But I will say, now that I am finished with periods, and now that I have a grandchild on the way, (who got his start in the uterine lining), the plan is seeming better to me. Babies and grandbabies are worth a lot of periods, all in all.
We women sure do love babies.
Maybe you have just a little bit of girl in you after all?
Photo: My daughter Kath marrying Matt Monson in Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in June, 2007. Their first baby is due in three weeks. Photo by Acorn Photography.