The Goddess theme continues in the ongoing swirl of the Corona virus. As social isolating rules are relaxing across the globe it is important to be aware that we are still in a process of deep transformation. Life has a way of forcing us to wake up in times of death and rebirth.
I find it interesting that we are being faced with the choice of ‘returning to normal’ while obviously there is no normal until the whole world has been exposed to the virus – whether directly or indirectly through a vaccine and this means that some people will continue to live and some will die.
Having been brought up a Catholic, I am reminded of the story of Jesus’s death and resurrection and his challenges to traditional authority. Jesus named hypocrisy where he saw it and urged his community to claim a new prophetic vision. As Jesus travelled and preached, he angered the Roman rulers, who feared that he was provoking unrest among the people and planning a revolution. Jesus was well aware of the charges laid against him by political and religious authorities, but he was relentless in his mission of informing the people about the truth of God’s relationship to them and that they were not powerless in fighting against hypocrisy.
For me this message is just as relevant today. Changes must occur at a political and religious level across the globe, particularly in relation to the male dominance of these spheres that has ultimately resulted in vast numbers of displaced people. The global population of forcibly displaced increased by 2.3 million people in 2018. By the end of the year, almost 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. The world’s forcibly displaced population remains at a record high.  Individually we are each being asked to hold a prophetic vision for an equitable world where basic human rights are achieved for everyone, regardless of where they are born. Part of our vision must also include the transformation of our political and religious institutions to balance the male / female ratio. The new equation must be God = Mother/Father.
The masculine gendered descriptions of God in the scriptures are commonly known but God is also identified in the Bible through female animal metaphors as well. God is described as mother bear (Hosea 13:8), mother eagle (Deuteronomy 32:11-12), and mother hen (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34). The book of Isaiah repeatedly harnesses the imagery of the female body for God, describing God as a woman in labor (42:14), a nursing mother (49:15), and a mother comforting her child (66:13). Hosea 11:3-4 (CEB) gives vivid imagery of a mother caring deeply for her child, saying:
“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up in my arms,
But they did not know that I healed them.
I led them
with bands of human kindness,
with cords of love.
I treated them like those
who lift infants to their cheeks;
I bent down to them and fed them.”
This imagery paints a picture of a mother who cares for scraped knees, scooping up little ones and snuggling them to her face. This familiarity and comfortableness demonstrates a deep level of tenderness, telling of a nurturing God who is a mother as well as a father.
In order to not be hypocritical we each have a role to play in caring for our global community and putting pressure on our leaders to rewrite the history books of global displacement – of people being lost. In Luke 15, we are given a trio of stories on lost things: a shepherd searching for a lost sheep, a woman searching for a lost coin, and a father with two lost sons. God in these parables serves as the shepherd, the woman, and the father. This set of stories realistically gives metaphors of two genders, with God’s relationship to humanity as the greater truth than any one relationship can contain.
Every single person who is displaced is in a relationship. They are a mother, father, son, daughter. They have friends – they are in relationships that deserve to be supported and cared for by those who have more. It is time to put our fears away and push love to the forefront of all of our actions. We are powerful when we realise that we are all part on one global community that must come together. We are all standing on the one Earth.