Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Psalms, Two Meditations (Part II)

Continuing backward in my reading of Psalms, we hit 135 (136).

My Father, My Mother

This psalm is a hymn of praise, one of those lengthy ones that even monks recite wearily in the morning. Praise for this and that and, yes, that other thing over there. Someone, please, get me a cup of coffee!

As secondary school classmate used to say that God is an egotist, always wanting people’s worship and praise. Or someone with an insecurity complex, I myself occasionally pondered.

I don't take to praises and hallelujahs. Even in Charismatic meetings, when the folks went wild, I simply watched. It was a beautiful performance of sorts. But I wasn’t gonna; no, sir.

In this psalm I'm supposed to praise God for great wonders, the heavens and the Earth. My capitalization. The Psalmist is still stuck in the pre-Ptolemaic cosmology of a flat earth sitting in a bubble of waters, light blue heavens above, dark blue oceans below and underground. Please!

Praise God who stilled the hand of the Pharaoh, who freed Israel. Long ago, God, what have you done lately? Praise God who was mindful of us in our affliction. Mindful, of my affliction, when? When you didn't bring my father back?

Then I begin to catch the refrain. Praise God ...  for his mercy endureth for ever. That sounds more like my mother, forever bearing the wrongs done her, always willing to forgive me (after slapping me silly), enduring at my side.

That's why God seems a she to me! God the Mother. God the abiding one, the one who can be relied to love unconditionally. The one who always forgives, whose mercy is eternal.

Reminds me of a theology class in which we tackled the problem of the crucifixion. Why was such a sacrifice necessary? Textbook answer: because God is merciful, but also just. That's a discussion for another day. Right now I want to fasten on to justice tempered by mercy. We haven't suffered the punishment deserved.

God the Father, God the Mother, they're one and the same. I see God as Mother more than Father.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny that mythology and faith story separate Mother Earth and Father [of] Heaven at such an extreme. We degrade on one hand and sanctify on the other.


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