[Guest commentary by Jonalyn Fincher, author of Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home]
God thought planet Earth needed a woman, not to do the laundry or to give Adam another dependent, but because all his creation needed a female. Both men and women are image bearers, two-ways of being human. And it was God’s idea to have us work together. God didn’t think women were more suited for Venus or men for Mars. He made us both for this planet.
Every year we get a chance to celebrate women who mothered us. We honor them because they’re smaller pictures of our God, because our mothers, like our fathers, tell us more about God.
God told Isaiah that his love for Israel could be compared to the love of a mother. God said he nursed and comforted Israel like a mother comforts her child (Isaiah 66:9-13). God talks about writhing with labor pains for Israel (Isaiah 42:14). God was not and is not ashamed of being identified with femininity. Even in the stereotypical "womanly" tasks of laundry, home-making, cooking and sheltering, God is the first one we find doing each of these. God was the first tailor, clothing Adam and Eve with skins. God was the first to clean up the earth with water. God makes earth fit for life, giving water to every beast of the field, providing food in due season (Ps. 104: 10-13 and 27-28). God is a great housekeeper. You could even say God does interior decorating, spreading out the heavens like a tent, covering the deeps with water as with a garment (Ps 104: 2 and 6).
There are hundreds of ways mothers show the world more of what God is like. Not only in the things mothers do, but in the very fact of them being female. It doesn’t matter if our mothers are pretty or frumpy, exhausted or peppy, every mother reveals something about God.
Much like Dorothy with her ruby slippers, sometimes mothers don’t realize the gift they own. Maybe they go through life gathering friends for their journey, fearing lions, tigers and bears, hoping they don’t get captured by the Wicked Witch, but always follow-follow-following their yellow brick road. Maybe someone will tell them about that glimmering gift they’ve had all along, their unique capacity as women.
Mothers everywhere need to know that their femininity is more significant and necessary in this world than their completed "to-do" list. Instead of all the things our mothers have done for us, perhaps this year we can thank them for who they are as women, for being living cameos of our God.