Okay, so my doctor says I have to get my tonsils taken out. Well, I don’t really have to, but if I don’t have it done, whatever I eat will continue to get trapped in the back of my throat causing really bad side effects–you know side effects like funky breath and continues sore throats. Apparently, the condition is fairly common.
Truthfully, I must admit it’s a little embarrassing to have to have your tonsils taken out at thirty-one years old. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but it just feels like something you should have had done when you were twelve. As a matter of fact, after my doctor dropped the surgery bomb on me, he asked me to watch a short video about the tonsillectomy. The video was apparently made in 1986, it documented a nervous eleven year old boy and his mother going through the process of preparation, surgery, and recovery. As if that wasn’t enough to make me feel like I was coming to the tonsillectomy party 20 years too late, sitting next to the small video monitor on which I watched the 11 year-old be nurtured through surgery by his mother was another video: Veggie Tales.
“Well,” I thought, “if my two-year-old were here at least she could watch her favorite video.” Suffice it to say that sitting in this small room, having to have a surgery typically done to children, while I was watching a nervous boy and his mother, and living with the knowledge that I could pop in a Veggie Tales video if the nurse tarried too long, all made me feel kinda like a kid.
Here’s the funny thing: After talking with my wife after I left the doctor’s office, I called my mother. What’s more, one of my first instincts was to ask her if she would be willing to come visit during my recovery. It’s not that I don’t think Rochelle is capable of taking care of me. She’s more than capable, but there is just something about having your mother around when you’re sick or infirmed somehow. They say when soldiers are injured on the battlefield, they don’t call out for their wives, they cry out for their mothers.
I think one of the most overlooked pictures of God in Scripture is that of God as mother. Most of us refer to God as “Father”. That’s a good thing. When Jesus talks to and about God, He calls Him “Father” primarily. But God is also pictured as mother.
I’ve always liked this pericope from Isaiah: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you…(Isaiah 66.13)”
I suppose people need a lot of different pictures and metaphors to describe God. As Thomas Aquinas reminds us, everything we can say about God is only an analogy since God infinitely surpasses anything we can say or think of Him.
It’s helpful to me to see God as mother. To see Him as the nurturing, tender, caressing holder of children and lover of beauty. It’s helpful for me to see God as the kind of God that flies halfway across the country to sit next to a thirty-one year old having his tonsils taken out. In the end, I guess that’s why the Bible gives us so many pictures of God. We need different images for different events in our lives. Sometime those events are big like death and disaster and we need a picture of an all-knowing, all-powerful God to help us understand that there is someone who knows how the play ends. And then some of the events are small, like day surgery, and we need to know there is someone who knows how to comfort a child–no matter what age they are.
God Bless your day.