“’The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…” (John 10:13-14)
The day my daughter was born was one of two happiest days of my life. I am unable to choose between that day and the day of my marriage. Both days changed me. From the day of my marriage, my life no longer centered on me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have selfish moments, but it did mean I had the responsibility to focus on more than just myself. This change of focus continued to change as I, like many of you, became a parent. I was filled with joy, awe, and anxiety all at the same time. It was, and is, an expectation I would never change.
Parenting is an act of love and commitment. There is a reason we use parental language for God. While I agree that patriarchal language for God is inappropriate, so is addressing God as “Creator.” God is our loving parent. Just like a good and loving parent, God would do anything for us. God loves us, knows up by name. God worries about us and wants the best for us. There are times that God needs to reprimand us, just like any good parent creates expectations and holds their children accountable for good behavior.
If God was no more than a “creator,” God’s commitment would probably been primarily to keep the creation moving forward through evolution. God would be less interested in the individual, than in the overall process of creation evolving. God is so much more than a “creator.” God is a caring parent who knows us by name, and the number of hairs on our head. God makes decisions based on each one of us individually, as well as for the overall good of creation. God does not treat us as a burden, the way a hired hand might. God treats us as a loving parent who will do anything possible for God’s children. God will do anything possible, out of love for you.