I think sometimes about what I imagine when I imagine God. Sometimes as I sit with the dying, as I knead life into the ragged and arthritic hands of my patients I wonder about the God to whom they return...or perhaps more selfishly, I imagine the God to whom I will someday return (this is my thinking on my good days, on some of my days I just feel scared to leave this wacky whirling planet. My mind can be a spooky place sometimes if left to its own devices).
I remember a friend telling me once that she imagined God as sort of an ironic middle-aged man who had a cynical and sacracastic wit. Huh. Never thought of that. But whatever gets you through the night, you know?
Here's what I think, when I imagine (as I said, on my good days, or my very best days) who that God is...
Circles of women. Women's bodies. Women's hands. Walking arm in arm through the dark places. Together. Weeping together. Dancing unabashedly. Laughing unashamedly. Sharing wine...swilling it out of the bottle. It is no wonder this "pastor thing" doesn't work for me. I don't seem to find God in the conventional places, in the routine ways. God is raucous laughter--vulnerable sharing--shoulders where I can lay my head.
It is hard to surround myself by those in the institutional church who understand.
I need a feminine God--I need a God to laugh with me--to hold me when I weep--to sing blues and urge me outside at night under the full moon. I need a Woman God to be my friend, to be my mother, to encourage me to love my body--full, ripe, holy.
I need a God whose breasts are large and pendulous--whose hips are wide to birth me again and again--a God who can rock me on her lap and twirl with me as we dance wild and frenzied Polkas.
I need a God who listens with tender ears, who asks what it is that makes me ache, and what it is that makes me weary--a God who laments with me of the passion that has been lost and who then points to the wind, and the moon, and the man who I have married to remind me that it is present now, if I will only let it in.
I need a God who will stomp her foot in righteous indignation and yell, "No! You will not be cruel," when my inner voice berates my fragile ego, but who in the same breath responds, "For you are my beloved, and your cruelty to yourself helps no one."
I need a God who challenges me to that which is of the essence--to that which will take me to the heart of love, to the core of wisdom, to the crux of justice, into the midst of passion, into the center of our connection, standing with others in solidarity.
She is not lofty. She is not weak. She is not submissive. She is not boxed-in. She is Who She Is. She is the feminine face of God.
And she will lead me back to myself.