All words matter. Some bring us closer to the truth. Some don’t. Conformity isn’t a synonym for unity. A simple phrase may often conceal a profound confoundery. Take the short invocation, “In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” for example. It’s an automatic tenet of the Christian world and it excludes half the human race at face value.
We instinctively bemoan single parent families yet claim all of creation is one. The language of patriarchy is the norm. The theologian Mary Daly posits our religion negates the Divine Mother even to the point of assigning gender (male) to the Holy Spirit. There are modern/mystical interpretations of “Let Us create them, male and female, in Our image.” That seek to at least suggest that God is limited when we stick to the script.
Henri Nouwen writes in The Return of The Prodigal Son; “The parable of the prodigal son is a story that speaks about a love that existed before any rejection was possible and that will still be there after all rejection has taken place. It is the first and everlasting love of a God Who is Fatherly as well as Motherly. It is the fountain of all true human love. Jesus’ whole life and preaching had only one aim: to reveal this inexhaustible, unlimited motherly and fatherly love of His God and to show the way to let that love guide every part of our daily lives.”
As I was walking in the woods with my eldest son recently we chatted about the supernatural love of God being mystical, but not bizarre, and suddenly I experienced an epiphany, a revelation so tangible it was if our path through the trees was designed to bring us to this spot. I don’t even remember which one of us said, “The Body of Christ is not just Jesus anymore, it’s all of us.” And then all the creation around us groaned, “Us too!”
I made the Sign of the Cross and the prayer changed to “In the Name of the Source, The Incarnation, and The Connecting Spirit.”
I met Reality, face to face, and Reality is us animating, and approximating, Divine Life, Love, and Liberation. Heady stuff opening my heart all the way to my feet. I’m writing this story out, not so much to challenge thousands of years of orthodoxy, as much as to introduce the Someone dear to all of us as my renewing BFF.
There’s a popular song that sings, “No longer an orphan I am Your child.” I wonder now, if the B-side is, “Yer Mom!”