Editor’s Desk: Mother-Work: God Is Like A Mother Hen

POSTED September 10, 2023 IN

My dear Circle Sister, Ann Smith, wrote this essay several years ago and I feel it is appropriate for us now as we approach and celebrate Mother’s Day. Along with me, she is a Millionth Circle Convener as well as the Regional Coordinator of the Southwest Florida chapter of Gather The Women.

-Justine Willis Toms


 When I was part of an Episcopal Women to Women trip to Jerusalem, we went to a chapel called Dominus Flevit on the western slope of the Mount of Olives just across the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem. The church, designed in the shape of a teardrop, has a picture window overlooking the city and at the foot of the altar is a mosaic of a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings recalling Christ’s words “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34)

I had not seen this image before but knew in my heart that this image and Christ’s words need to be known: God as Mother, God mothering all of us, protecting us from harm and keeping us under Her wing in times of sorrow and trouble, and in our growth to become compassionate and loving people.

This image takes us out of our humanness into another being, from our two-leggedness into the winged that has much to teach us about mothering. I love this image and Christ’s words because it is about giving love and nurturing even to those who are not willing to receive. Love is the essence of all religions but rarely is the Divine Feminine used in images and words. It is the essence of what is needed today. It is the means to transform violence, anger, hate, war and the exploitation of women and eco-systems. By loving the Divine Feminine we learn to love, protect and nurture all creation.

Because religion plays such an important role in our culture, illuminating the Divine Feminine in images and words is a mothering role we can give to our families and communities. No greater role is needed and we as mothers, daughters, grandmothers, aunties all have this gift to give. We can teach our sons, husbands, brothers, fathers and grandfathers how to mother.

Celebrating Mother’s Day as a day of peace connects people from around the world. Continuing this spiritual practice by setting aside time every day to pray/meditate for peace is an ongoing invitation that you can extend to others.

Let’s begin by mothering our selves and one another, two-leggeds, winged, scaled, leafed. Namaste!!!


Mother’s Day Peace Prayer

Together Let Us Invoke the Power of Unconditional Love and Commitment from

All the Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunties, and All Women, Circling the Earth,

To Awaken the Global Heart, by Lifting our Voices in a Chorus for Peace.

We will move forward to Influence Humanity

For a More Caring, Just, Tolerant and Peaceful World.

Let It Be So.

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