Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Mother God

God is strong and has a good mother

                     Irish Proverb




I was thinking today about mothers

I remember my own mother

a force of nature in a small package (5’ tall, maybe 100 lbs)


a woman who was ordered

and in control (but not controlling)

a woman who did not know how to say “I love you”

but knew who to live “I love you”


I was thinking too of George Floyd’s mother

gone these several years

who was not here to see her son die

ignominiously on the pavement

a white man’s knee on his knee


the absolute image of

one enslaved and dominated

a symbol

of so many down trodden, crushed, shackled, lynched


and of how in his last gasping moments

he cried “Momma! Momma! I’m through...”


through the veil

killed by apathy, systematic racism, hate

by a cruel theology of domination and cruelty

that discounts and dehumanizes


And I think of other mothers

Mothers waiting at home in fear for their sons to come home

Mothers watching the violence and remembering


The mothers of black men, black women

White men, white women

Mothers of all races and creeds


Watching their children


What goes on in the heart of a mother

who sees her child abused by those who should protect?

What goes on in the heart of a mother

who sees her child abusing others, swinging that club from behind that shield?


Ah the mothers

Who have nurtured and cuddled

Who have taught and disciplined

Who have loved, and loved, and loved some more


And now must watch

as that child they carried, who was part of her

is out there, on the streets

out there


my mother, gone these 30 years

is still woven into the fabric of my being

the lessons still rattle in my brain

“Open the door

Walk on the outside of the sidewalk

If you want to be happy, seek to make others happy

Treat others with respect

Always be aware of others, and how what you are doing affects them”


I know at times I made her proud

I know at times she wondered where she had gone wrong


What are the mothers thinking in this time of chaos and violence?

As they watch their children be abused?

As they watch their children abuse?


What pain do they carry, what regrets?

What joys?

What secret hopes, what fears


I do not know

But I know that mothers are what make the world run

Which is why, perhaps, it is the mothers

who when they assume office, become strong leaders

and create strong children (countries)

(I think of Jacinda Ardern, who gave her child the Irish name meaning “bright love”)


I am thinking today about mothers

and thinking too of our mothering God

(for women too are the image of God)


who mixed in among this mess,

as One woven into the fabric of all the children

is part of all



I am thinking about God

Who taught us to walk,

Who takes us up in Her arms;

Even when we resist, and heals us


I am thinking about god how leads us

“with cords of human kindness, with bands of love”


Who lifts us like infants to Her cheeks.

And bends down to us and feeds us


I am thinking today about mothers


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