* Photo Courtesy of allposters.com
THE Bible uses a number of different terms to convey the tender sense of God’s love, which is a central point in its teachings. Christ Jesus spoke of God as Father and Shepherd, and the book of Isaiah represents God as saying, `As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”1 Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, uses the term Father-Mother for God, not to change His nature but to describe it more meaningfully. This term shows that the divine nature includes qualities we associate with both fatherhood and motherhood, such as wisdom and love.
This larger understanding of God’s nature is very practical in bringing strength and reassurance to daily experience, as well as being an important part of spiritual healing. A woman proved this for herself recently when she began to suffer from a crippling rheumatic condition that made it very difficult for her to get about. Since she had always led a very active life, this was distressing for both her and her family.
She was a lifelong student of Christian Science and had complete faith in the effectiveness of its teachings. She had experienced and witnessed healings that had come about as a result of its practice. So she asked a Christian Science practitioner for treatment through prayer, and together, on the basis of God’s allness and goodness, they challenged the thought that any disease could be incurable or chronic. They also cultivated a simple receptivity to the divine Father-Mother.
At first progress seemed slow, but gradually improvements began to come, and in about a year she had regained her freedom completely and was able to resume all her normal activities. Members of her family who weren’t Christian Scientists, and who had pushed her in a wheelchair on different occasions, were delighted to see that healing had taken place. One of the things that came back to her very reassuringly at that time was a prayer written by Mrs. Eddy, which she had learned as a child:
Loving me, — Guard me when I sleep; Guide my little feet
Up to Thee.2
We’re also helped immeasurably by coming to see the true selfhood of man as the child, or expression, of the divine Father-Mother, as the spiritual image of Love, untouched by suffering, unburdened by weaknesses associated with age. As we cultivate this higher view, we recognize the permanence in our lives of such winning, childlike qualities as innocence, purity, spontaneity, expectancy, and trust.
Seeing God as Father-Mother and ourselves as His children puts our health on a sturdier foundation and, most important, helps forward the regeneration so essential to our salvation.