Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Father and mother: why you can be both

Applied to Deity, Father and Mother are synonymous terms; they signify one God.

--Mary Baker Eddy ('00 5:10-11)

This one sentence, which I read this morning from my class notes, packs a lot of meaning for me. It draws on the concept that in Christian Science, all the many synonyms for God are words for *the same thing.* It's not that there's a God who is Truth, and a God who is Love and a God who is Mind. It's that Truth, Love and Mind are actually equivalent, the same Being, one.

Did you ever have a teacher in grade school who explained what equivalent means? Mine took two paper triangles that were equivalent and laid them on top of each other. They fit perfectly in the same space. Now, in the material world, the two triangles were still distinct. To me, spiritual equivalence means the items are actually one and the same, because not only are they the same size, but they occupy the same space.

"Father" and "mother" are two words that materially we tend to think of as two separate things. Each child physically has a father and a mother. In the physical sense, both of these genders are needed to generate the child. Once you get past conception, though, the gender positions are not so distinct or mandatory. After all, many people grow up without a particular parent present. Does the child then have to do without?

Spiritually, "Father" and "Mother" are names for God. These concepts occupy the same space as Spirit, Love. Today I'm seeing Father and Mother as those equivalent triangles. They are not two sub-sections of God, but they express the totality of God, each of them, together. They equal each other, and they equal the other synonyms as well. It's all one Being of Light.

A concept that I've always loved about Christian Science is that we, you and I, are the image and likeness of God in all His attributes. We don't just express a corner of His being, but the totality. If it's in God, it's in us. So if God is Father-Mother, we, too, express the whole picture, even if our physical role in a child's conception was one or the other.

As I'm approaching the end of my parenting years, at least the years where the children are at home, I can see that they never went without. Both my children are kind, intelligent, loving, hardworking. They express all the qualities that they learned from their father-mother—me. I can see through them that I've been expressing Father-Mother the entire time, because they're turning out whole and strong.

Yes, there are human difficulties stemming from not having a two-parent household. But their core is sound and they are complete. And I am grateful that throughout, I had access to all the qualities I needed as both father and mother to make this family a success.


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