What do you feel when you hear the phrase “mother-love”? Can you define it? For me, it evokes a feeling that ascends beyond words into a higher, more spiritual sense of life. The picture of a human mother nestling her babe in her arms with comforting, tender care engenders a feeling of love that only hints at God’s infinite love for His creation. The prophet Jeremiah touched upon the mothering care of divine Love when he wrote, “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (31:3).
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, fully brought to light the feminine nature of God. One biographer recorded a precious description from her teaching: “Love is a Mother tenderly brooding over all Her children. This Mother guards each one from harm, nourishes, holds close to Herself, and carefully leads along the upward way” (Irving Tomlinson, Twelve Years With Mary Baker Eddy, Amplified Edition, p. 103).
No matter what we are faced with in our human experience, each of us can feel safe and beloved, embraced in the ever-presence of divine Love. The tender love of God is limitless and
instantly available to receive and to share. It is universal and unconditional, shining equally on everyone. Feeling this great heart of Love enables one to rise above discordant situations and know the perfect man of God’s creating. This means each of us, as the reflection of God, can express mothering qualities such as calmness, lovingkindness, forgiveness, gentleness, compassion, and unselfishness. In the ceaseless flow of divine affection, any scars of troubled relationships, disappointment, or regret disappear in the warmth of divine Love.
We prayed to feel the mothering love of God caring for Her beloved child.
Acceptance, deep in thought, of the motherhood of God, feeds the heart hungering for affection, comforts the sorrowing, and heals suffering. In an early version of Mrs. Eddy’s “Communion Hymn” we find: “Mourner, she calls thee: ‘Come to my bosom; / Love wipes the tears all away,’ … . Sinner, she calls thee, …” (Journal, February 1889, Vol. 6, p. 562). Spiritual love melts fear just like a mother’s sweet hug and kiss when a child has been wounded. The all-encompassing divine Mother-Love is awaiting anyone turning to God in prayer for help.
In my own experience, when our first child was 18 months old, he loved to spend time with his dad and often enjoyed helping his dad push the lawn mower. One day, his dad rented a thatching machine, which looked like a lawn mower, but did not have a protective heat shield. Our son inadvertently burned his hand on the exposed hot muffler.
As Christian Scientists, our family had experienced many healings and proofs of God’s care, so we called a Christian Science practitioner to support us in prayer. We prayed to feel the mothering love of God caring for Her beloved child, protecting him from harm. We knew that he was innocent, that as God’s spiritual idea he could not be hurt by an accident.
The practitioner suggested that we mentally wrap him in the “gentle beam of living Love” (Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 23). This gentle beam of divine Love shines the sunlight of Truth, God, on any sense of discord.
After much comforting and prayer, the child fell asleep naturally in my arms. I stayed by his bed all night, praying with all my heart, knowing I needed to overcome the intense fear that was gripping me as a new, young mother. I humbly prayed until I felt the presence of God, of Mother-Love, that dwells in light and sees only Her own perfect idea. Gradually a quiet sense of peace settled over me.
When morning came, new skin had formed over all the injured places, and there were no signs of discomfort. Within a couple of days, the little hand returned to normal, with no evidence that an accident had occurred. A deep sense of gratitude for God’s loving care filled our hearts.
Parents have the opportunity to express the motherhood of God throughout each day. It requires great patience calmly to quiet a screaming toddler without frustration, pure affection to say no to a teenager to protect him or her from danger, unselfishness to attend school and extracurricular activities over many years, constancy in setting a good example for one’s children. A heart filled with mothering love sees another’s need and responds with love, which has its source in God.
It is recorded that when Mrs. Eddy prayed, she often referred to God as Mother and as Love, and would say, “Love will show me” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, p. 194). Our prayers can include knowing that the mothering care of divine Love is omnipresent—guiding and protecting everyone, including children at school, in sports, or wherever they may be. No one is left out. Our oneness with Mother-Love is intact and can never be severed.
Beverly Ness is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher living in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area.
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