God is an orphan. As far as any of us know, he had no father, no mother. He had to learn to scrap by on his own from the earliest of time.
He didn’t have a mother to tell him when to switch the lights off and on, or when to quit playing in the waters. When God grew scared of the dark it was all up to him to figure out a way to create light.
When God wanted to visit the zoo, he had to fashion all the animals and name them one-by-one
When God wanted something good to eat, he had to grow it himself or kill and cook it himself.
When God wanted a playmate, he made one out of clay and discarded bones.
God never had a mother to teach him right from wrong.
God never had a mother to comfort him and tell him everything would turn out alright in the end and if it wasn’t turning out alright, it’s because it isn’t the end yet.
God didn’t have a mother to teach him about who his kinfolk were and where he came from. God never knew where he came from or who his people were.
Orphans like God have to make their own way in the world. They have to find families to belong to. I think that’s why God calls the Jews his chosen people. As an orphan, he got to pick what family he wanted to align himself with.
Any psychologist could probably reason that it was God’s background as an orphan that made him align himself with such a big clan of demonstrative misfits as the Jews. God would never have fit in with an upper crust white-bred East Coast clan. He needed a people who would overlook his undocumented background and embrace him for the God that he is. Initially, the Jews were willing to do that.
It probably isn’t any wonder that God got a girl pregnant out of wedlock at such a young age. God was a classic case of the abandoned child longing for a family all his own.
Like a lot of abandoned children, God became the ideal father and the mother to his beloved son, the kind of mother and father God, himself, never had. Well, with the exception of that cross thing. That’s a little hard to understand how he could stand by and allow that to go on. But orphaned or not, we all do things sometimes that are difficult to explain.
God needed a good mama, that’s for sure. A good mama to keep him in line. God could be a little hot-headed at times, if you know what I mean. He needed a good mama to tell him to calm down and count to ten.
He could’ve used a mama when he made those people wander in that desert all those years. A good mama would have put an end to that after two-weeks. And a good mama would never have served people the same meal over and over and over again. A good mama would have insisted that Moses be allowed into the promised land.
If God had a mama, she would never have allowed women to be treated like second-class citizens or as hired help. She would have demanded that God make all his friends treat women with respect and honor and in an egalitarian fashion. She never would have indulged David or Solomon and all their misbehaving ways. If God had a mama, she would have made Esther the Queen and Xerxes her footman.
Without question, the world would be a kinder, more gentle place if God had had the benefit of being raised up rightly by a good mama.
Is it any wonder, God always held a special place in his heart for all the orphans?
He understands their loneliness and need for belonging best of all.
God, himself, knows the treasure of a good mama.
The very first commandment, after all, is one in which God advises everyone to honor their mother.
If you had a good mama, give her a hug from me. Appreciate her. Good mamas are hard to come by. Just ask God. He knows all about that.
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Mother of Rain: A Novel. (Mercer University Press).