Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Is God a girl?

I just came home from the funeral of a wonderful woman named Anne. I never met her, but I am in a play with her teenage children, and out of respect to them, my children and I attended.

This woman was remarkable, and I wish I could have known her. She was extremely active in her church, she trained a therapy dog, she rescued animals on a regular basis. Apparently her laugh was infectious and her personality bubbly. She almost saw three beautiful children reach adulthood.

Apparently, she also enjoyed theological debates, and she often wondered if God was a woman. As a result, her funeral was geared toward this concept. The scripture choices reflected this, and so did the music. (I stumbled through "On Eagle's Wings"; I just couldn't get the words "And hold you in the palm of Her hand" out of my mouth with any level of fluency.)

Now, I was raised a Missouri synod Lutheran. (This is most certainly true. Ha ha ha.) And I'll say right now that I don't agree with everything that the Mo's believe. I think it's silly that women can't be pastors (heck, they couldn't be USHERS when I was a kid) and I don't believe voting Republican will change the abortion rates and I don't care if someone with a penis marries someone else with a penis.

I like to think I'm fairly open-minded.

But it turns out, I don't feel comfortable with this "God as a woman" idea. During this whole funeral, whenever the pastor referred to God as "she" a little voice in my mind muttered, "Um, yeahhhh.... No." I wish I was more open-minded but... Well, what can I say. I'm Missouri synod. We're not known for our flexibility.

When I envision God, I don't envision a woman. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong, I'm just saying I picture a father figure.

I know, I know... how very Missouri Synody of me.

Although envisioning God as a mother figure is probably comforting to some, to be honest, when I picture a mom I picture someone who is harried and under a lot of stress. Can you imagine God telling you "Eat your carrots!" "Quit picking your nose!" "If you keep making that face, it's going to stay that way!"?

On the other hand, it's usually the mother who holds you when you cry, strokes your forehead when you can't sleep and  pulls your hair out of the way when you're throwing up. And any mother worthy of her title would die for her children without thinking twice about it.

Hmmm... maybe God is a woman, after all.


  1. I am with you in being uncomfortable with overt references to God as female, because to me it sounds forced and like someone is trying to make a point. Clearly God is neither male nor female and must incorporate both masculine and feminine qualities, but I am also traditional and prefer to think of him as a father, like Jesus did.

  2. I agree with lesliesholly. Calling God she sounds more like a statement. I've been in churches where they eliminate all pronouns entirely (and hold you in the palm of God's hand). But I also look at it as the fact that male pronouns were used to incorporate both genders for so long (mankind) that calling God He doesn't eliminate the feminine side.

  3. Is it remotely possible that another LCMS person might have the same political ideas that I have??