The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2019
The imagery of the metaphor of God as mother is one that has meant a lot to me for a number of years. I especially became awake to it when I became a mum. Some of those metaphors in Scripture became alive for me in a way that I never probably had understood prior. That’s not to say becoming a mother is the only way you can understand that metaphor. But for me, that was how it happened. And so there was a sense for me of when God was recast or was re-imagined or expanded to include the feminine to include the maternal, even, there was this sense of invitation to it that I felt had a lot of healing in it.
I look at how even I was mothered, and now how I’m mothering our four children. There was a sense of mothering with a purpose, but there is a tenderness to it. There is a warmth to it, that maternal sort of energy that is nourishing. But the purpose of that is that it’s more than just comfort. It’s more than just love. It’s more than just feeding and clothing. As a mom, a big part of my role is to make sure they’re healthy, flourishing, eating good food, getting good exercise, good experiences, reading good books, having good conversations, and entering into the larger story within our world as well, and understanding the gospel. All these big, beautiful ideas also come down to things like “brush your teeth.”
If God mothers you, it’s more than just comfort and quilts and tea. It’s also “Take your meds, get to the doctor, get up from the computer, lift up your eyes and look at what’s going on in the world. Don’t be so focused on your own self.” That maternal energy led me not only toward healing, but toward reorientation, not only for myself, but for the world as well.
- Sarah Bessey, from our interview about this book
that will run in our Advent 2019 magazine
(Interview by Leslie Verner)
LISTEN to a podcast interview that Sarah Bessey did with Jonathan Martin about this book…