As I child, I spent summers with my grandparents. My mornings were spent in the quiet perceptiveness and quick wit of my grandfather until my grandmother woke up at 7:00am right on the nose without an alarm clock. My grandmother was the nucleus of our family and her community. She brought all sorts of unlikely people together, chaired various community projects, and kept company with all kinds of people. She wasn’t particularly religious, but lived an ethic of love and justice in her every action.
Her hands were healing hands. She knew which herbs in the garden would cure common ailments and she taught me how to honor someone as they came close to death. While she was generous and kind, she also had a look that could cut you to your core and stop you in your tracks, without actually saying the words, “Don’t even think about it.”
My grandmother was someone who would wrap you in her arms and comfort, teach lessons of how to love through action, and offer advice for every facet of life, while also giving space to make mistakes and forge your own way.
Our mothering, grandmothering God weeps with us, mourns with us and screams with us. She soothes us, comforts us, and restores us. She reminds us of who we are when we’ve lost ourselves and She challenges us to be better bearers of her Way of love.
Of course, my grandmother was human with her own flaws, like her lackluster cooking skills, but her wisdom, grace, and love continually offer me insight to our Creator God.
Like a mother bringing new life into the world, God whispers Her hopes and desires for our lives into Her womb as we are forming. Like a grandmother soothing the aches of broken skin or a broken heart, God sings to us recipes for healing from Her own voice or from the balms of the earth. Our mothering, grandmothering God weeps with us, mourns with us and screams with us. She soothes us, comforts us, and restores us. She reminds us of who we are when we’ve lost ourselves and She challenges us to be better bearers of her Way of love.
All around us are reminders of our Grandmother God. In every seed that breaks to bring forth new life, She is there. In every baby bird chirping for food or about to take their first flight, She is there. In every child who experiences trauma, She is there. At the table of justice and charity, She is there. In the moans of lovers, She is there. Everywhere life comes into being, is celebrated, or is healed into restoration or redemption, Grandmother God is present. Wise, demanding, forgiving, and trusting, She is love and She is God.
One of the things I love about MCC is that one has the space and ability to see God and get to know God in different ways. Often, when we pray the Prayer Jesus Taught (the Lord’s Prayer), people use all sorts of phrases for the opening line. On any given Sunday, you might hear “Our Father,” “Our Mother,” “Our God,” “Our Creator,” “Our Sovereign” …. Prayer in MCC is a beautiful tapestry of names. How do you know God? What names for God do you use in your prayer language?
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Rev. Lauren Bennett is the Associate Pastor at MCC Greater St. Louis where she focuses on programming, community partnerships, and congregational care. In addition, Lauren coordinates conferences and events for the MCC denomination. As a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she lived in Washington, DC for four years before moving to the Midwest. Coming from a community organizing background, Lauren is particularly passionate about working with the crucified of our time for liberation from systems of oppression. In her free time, she loves being outside, reading, and spending time with her partner AhSa-Ti and son Ahmmit.