Our Great God, the supreme wisdom of all, made himself ready in this humble place and dressed himself inner poor flesh. himself to perform the service and office of motherhood in everything. The mother’s service is closest, most willing and most sure: closest because it is most natural, most willing because it is most loving, and most sure because it is most true.Julian of Norwich. Revelations of Divine Joy; Long Text, Chapter 60.
There is something deeply profound abut how Julian approaches the character of God throughout her writings. Firstly (and something I wished I had focused upon more, had I been able to truly grasp it..but alas I am still on that journey), is her understanding of the way that God is Trinity. It is deeply profound. Secondly, the way that she fully embraces the Fatherhood of God, however also her Motherhood, without the subjugation one to the other, is powerful.
Living in Cornwall, as we do now, it’s impossible to escape the influence of Celtic culture and faith; it is all around us here. Many of the most ancient Celtic ‘crosses’ are barely crosses at all, many having simply the beginning-less and end-less Celtic Trinitarian knot embossed on a pillar of granite.
Seeing God as mother is uncomfortable to some, as for some it implies weakness, less-ness and challenges a masculine notion of the world where women are so often subjugated. Simply put, God’s motherhood threatens any male dominated world view. And yet, the motherhood of God, the nurture of the divine, the birthing of the new creation is as much part of God’s character as anything else. After all; ‘he’ is the double breasted one!