It shocked me to find myself praying “Dear Heavenly Mother…”
Not long ago I awoke in the middle of the night. I’d been ill and going through stressful days. In the shadowy mist of the midnight hours I started to pray. This is nothing new. I often pray in those times when I hover between “Let’s roll” and “Let’s go back to sleep.”
But in the middle of the night I did something I’ve never done in my entire life, I started my prayer, “Dear Heavenly Mother…” After those opening words I asked for peace, help, and calmness. At that moment, a sense of overwhelming love swept over me. All anxiety was gone. I felt at peace. Soon sleep swept over me.
The next morning I wondered what had happened to me? Why did I pray to my “Heavenly Mother?” And why was the response so powerful?
Amateur psychologists will be quick to answer, “It’s all about the relationship you had with your parents.” There’s truth to that line of thinking. Dad would never win parent of the year. (I had a knee-knocking fear of him.) Mom was the one who demonstrated love. She was the one who embraced me when I had hurts. She calmed my fears as a child. So it makes sense that when I prayed “Dear Heavenly Mother” I felt an outpouring of love.
But why is this the first time in my spiritual journey that I addressed God as Mother and not Father? Why have I never heard a church prayer begin with “Dear Heavenly Mother?” Yes, the Bible uses masculine pronouns when referring to God. But that’s not surprising when you remember that it was written in a male dominated culture. (Women, during the formative years of the Bible, were often considered property.) And I’ve not forgotten that when Jesus taught the disciples to pray He began the prayer with, “Our Father.” So is it wrong to pray to your Heavenly Mother? Did I become a heretic in the middle of the night?
Who knows? All I know is that, when I prayed “Dear Heavenly Mother,” the impact was profound. Anxiety crawled back into the dark hole and sleep took over.
That experience prompted me to ask, “Is God gender fluid? Can God the Father flow into becoming God the Mother?” Some will say that the proper word is “non-binary.” I can get with that. God created gender, so that means He is above what He created in the same way that the painter is above his painting. This suggests God is neither male nor female. But I’m not using the phrase “gender fluid” in that theological sense. I’m just wondering, is God so big and wonderful that He/She comes to us in the best way to meet our need?
I’m interested to know what you think.
Bonus Thought: if you are freaked about about me praying to a Heavenly Mother because there no prayers in the Bible that use that form, consider this: according to a lecture by Dr. J. K Grider, there’s not one prayer in the Bible addressed to Jesus.