The Bible is full of feminine imagery for God. God speaks through Isaiah saying, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (66:13). He speaks through Job, “From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens…?” (38:29). Jesus says, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” (Matthew 23:37). Yet we often read right through these passages without really paying attention to a key part of their significance.
Our conference gift bag at “Q” included a recent Nooma video, titled “She.” I thought it was interesting. It wasn’t a deep theological treatise on gender. It simply encouraged us to remember that God created both male and female in the image of God, and pointed to God’s own references to himself in that sense.
Those female descriptions are wonderfully affirming to women. It allows us to see our unique identity in our creator. Yet I know this perspective makes some men uncomfortable, though I don’t really understand why. It’s like looking at a guy who’s a long-time friend and saying, “I can really see your mother in you.” Depending on his relationship with his mother, that could probably be taken as either a compliment or a huge criticism, but you get the point. The statement doesn’t in any way challenge his masculinity. It’s an observation of origin, of connectedness.
God transcends and somehow also includes male & female. To ignore the female aspect of God is to dismiss something central about who he is. So, as the video handbook closes,
“May you embrace the God who’s bigger than any of our language. May you celebrate all of the images and pictures and metaphors that help us better understand who God is and what God is like.”