Saturday, May 7, 2011

pondering God's mother-heart

I'm a mother. I have a mother. And I have a mother-in-law (or "mother-in-love"). I also have a grandmother who has 5 children and more grandchildren and great grandchildren than I'd dare try to number (in the teens, each). So I know I speak for all of us with what I'm about to say.

This mother's day, my four children could sit at my feet all day long to chant and sing, "Oh mother, you are lovely and beautiful and radiant and good. We love you so, dear mother! Thank you for being so wonderful!" And I might like that.

But I'll tell you what I'd like more.
And what my mother likes more.
And what my mother-in-law likes more.
And what my grandmother likes more.
And I bet pretty much every other mother on the planet.

I'd like it if those four kids would get up from my feet, walk off, and go love each other. Laugh together. Help each other. Support each other. Respect each other. Confide in one another. Put each other's needs before their own. Rely on each other. Rejoice when one rejoices and mourn when one mourns.

That would (and does) mean more to me - infinitely more.

And for them to walk off from praising me and do anything less ... well, that would break my heart. It would be like all they'd just said to me was ... a lie.

I once asked God to show me what He was like. I needed desperately to know. The Spirit brought scriptures to my mind like Isaiah 49:15 and Matthew 23:37. Then She drew my eyes to a mother playing in the surf with her children. Enjoying them. Protecting them. Loving them. The Spirit whispered, "I have told you I am like this. And you understand this."

Yes, I do.

Now, imagine. Imagine God's mother-heart being blessed by the way we love one another. Not in a tower-of-babel homogeneity. But in a children-of-the-same-heart-what-Jesus-prayed-for unity.

The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they'll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they'll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you've sent me and loved them
In the same way you've loved me.

Father, I want those you gave me

To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.

Jesus' prayer, John 17

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