Mommy Metaphors for God’s Love

By Lisa Mladinich

mommymetaphors

When I explain my spirituality to other people, I tend to use mommy metaphors. As a mother, it makes perfect sense that my vocation is the lens through which I understand God’s presence and action in my life.

For instance, I have learned to trust in Our Lord’s tender and faithful affection for me. He never stops wooing my soul, calling softly to me and reminding me of his presence, much the way I once read to my daughter, when she was tiny.

We started with board books and picture books, and I held her snugly on my lap and cuddled her, while I read. My voice was gentle and sing-songy, and it didn’t matter that she comprehended so little; she felt loved, and she learned to respond to the sound of my voice. Over time, she recognized the images and started to grasp the simple plots. Eventually, she learned to anticipate the events of the story and ask questions, to probe for deeper understanding.

God tells us the story of his love in a similar way. We don’t understand most of what He is saying, but we learn to love his voice and respond to him, moment by moment and day by day. Our prayer lives start to take hold, as we begin the most important conversation of our lives. And God is so generous that, when we make even the slightest movement towards him, He is delighted, like a mother crouching in excitement and joyfully opening her arms wide to embrace a toddler taking her first step.

God is our loving Father, but he encompasses and expresses the maternal love that he created, giving it great dignity. I leave you with these consoling images of God’s “maternal” love, to pray with, today:

“… how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings …” (Matthew 23:37 NAB)

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you …” (Isaiah 66:13)

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)

About the Author:

LisaMladinich_headshotLisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and homeschooling mom, catechist, workshop leader, and the author of True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life (Servant Books). Her children’s prayer book, Heads Bowed: Prayers for Catholic School Days (Liguori Publications), is due out this summer. She writes for CATECHIST Magazine and can be reached through her website, AmazingCatechists.com.

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One Response to “Mommy Metaphors for God’s Love”
  1. I loved your thoughts on “mommy metaphors”. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mom and hopefully have been a good one to my children. I feel very blessed with both my children. I was born with a birth defect that made it unwise for me to consider a pregnancy. However, my doctors never got around to telling me this. When I conceived, my doctor believed that I would miscarry, so he never told me how dangerous it was for both me and the child. We beat the odds and I delivered a health 8# son.

    Shortly afterward we moved to MT and my doctor there told me it was be fatal for both me and the baby if I were to conceive again. So we began adoption proceedings and not too long later were blessed with a baby girl. Being a parent teaches you so much about God and his love for us.

    My human children are gown now, but I still get lost of Mommy moments with our 4 adopted dogs and 4 adopted cats. All of these critters somehow found us and although it’s a lot of work, it is definitely a blessing, too.