Thursday, September 24, 2009

Papa's Womb-like Compassion

We finally began our series on The Shack. Last Sunday we delved into what many people find offensive about this book--it's portrayal of God. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. God reveals himself to Mack, the main character, as an African American woman who loves to cook and is fond of everyone she speaks of.

Though many people have been offended by this picture, it never really troubled me. In scripture we discover maternal images of God. Read Isaiah 49.15-16 as well as Isaiah 66.13. Also, the Hebrew word for compassion used frequently in the Old Testament is the same root word for womb. Psalm 103.13 states "As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him." The word compassion used in this verse is derived from the word womb. In other words, Papa has a womb-like compassion for his children. This is a powerful image trying to communicate the fierce and loyal love of the Lord!

Am I advocating that we call God mother? No, I'm not. Scripture never does. However, what we have to recognize is that all of our language about God is metaphorical. Our words and pictures never contain God, they only point to God. So envisioning that God loves us like a mother loves the offspring of her womb is a good way to understand God's embrace.

And that's really the point I was trying to make. God does love us. He is good to us. We must let that love descend to the very core of our being.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For GOD who COMMANDED THE LIGHT to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts to [give] THE LIGHT of THE KNOWLEDGE of THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE of JESUS CHRIST.