God’s Motherly Love


The words of the Sikh evening prayer (Raihras) are very touching. In part, the Fifth Guru says,

Flamingoes fly hundreds of miles leaving their offspring behind.

                Who feeds them? Who teaches them to peck?

                Their mothers are always repeating the Name of God

[In faith that God will look after their children].

I know these words are true, for I too am a mother who has traveled far from her grown children and grandchildren in order to do seva at Gobind Sadan in India. I always pray, “You are their Mother; You are their Grandmother. You can take care of them far better than I could even if I were living close to them.” God has indeed done so. God brought my granddaughter to life when she was born with no heartbeat, no breathing, no color in her skin. God saved my son when he was hiking alone in the high mountains. He had lost the trail in a snowstorm and faced days of snow, cold, altitude faintness, and steep hand-over-hand climbs up sheer cliffs. I am quite sure that he would have died were God not protecting him and leading him to safety. How could I have saved those lives which are so dear to me? Only God can do such things, in response to our faith.

In addition to being our constant Protector, God is also our great teacher. Our earthly mother is our first teacher. As children we are foolish and demanding. If she is a good mother, she shapes our behavior so that we are better human beings. By her own example, my dear mother taught me that every person is to be respected and loved, no matter what their caste, creed, or colour of skin. Anyone who came to her door was warmly welcomed. Just so, God places the same value on every person. God is Mother of people of all races, all castes, all religions. God’s motherly love does not make such distinctions. Again and again, God has instructed us in love for all of creation. This is the perennial message of all prophets. “In the House of God,” Baba Virsa Singh teaches us, “there is no high or low. We are all brothers and sisters.”

Why surrender to God? Not because God is stern and punishing and wants to make slaves of us. Rather, we surrender to God because God is ever loving and always takes care of us, with wisdom which knows so much better than we do what is best. Whatever is happening, it is God Who is doing it, and we are always safe in Those Hands.