Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Our lives in their hands


Do these stats surprise you?

About one million women work in the NHS.

On International Women's Day, it is important to see how the health of the nation depends upon women.

I know one of them very well!

Today, as we remember many amazing women who have inspired us: let us give thanks for the women in whose hands our lives are made safe.


  1. The NHS has a female face, just as poverty has a female face.

    Reflecting on health I'm reminded of the hymn words:

    "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;
    O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation".

    Maybe it would be more appropriate today for us to sing "for she is thy health and salvation".
    So why do I find it not so easy to speak of God as "she"? The long tradition of male language for God is engrained in me and as yet I don't find it natural to talk to God in prayer using feminine words.
    So, as ever, I'm looking to my blogging friends to help me. Please share what might might be helpful to me as I would long to expand my understanding of God and deepen my prayer life.


    • Deut. 32:18 “You forget the rock who begot you, unmindful of the God who gave birth to you”

    • Job 38:8 “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?”
    • Job 38: 28-29 God’s fathering of rain and giving birth to ice from her womb
    • Isaiah 42:14 “I groan like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant”
    • Isaiah 46: 3-4: “You who have been carried since birth, whom I have carried since time you were born” – incubating in God’s womb
    • John 1:12: Those who believe in God are born of God
    • John 4:7: Everyone who loves is born of God
    • John 16:21: God is bringing forth a new humanity like the pangs of a woman in labor; her hour has come
    • Acts 17: In God we live and move and have our being
    • Gal 4:19: God’s womb is in pain
    • Romans 8:22 From the beginning to now the entire creation has been groaning in one great act of giving birth (creation)

    Nursing mother:
    • Isaiah 49:15 does a woman forget her baby at the breast, or fail to cherish the son (daughter) of her womb
    • Numbers 11:12 was it I who conceived all this people, was it I who gave them birth that you should say to me, carry them in your bosom like a nurse with a baby at the breast
    • Psalm 131:2 – 3 But I have clamed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul within me is like a weaned child.
    • John 7: 38 From his breast shall flow the fountains of living water
    • 1 Peter 2:2 – 3 You are newborn and like babies you should be hungry for nothing but milk – now that you have tasted the goodness of Christ

    Nurturing God – mother:
    • Gen 1 :2 nesting mother
    • Deut 32 : 11 – 12 mother eagle
    • Hosea 11:34 I myself taught Ephram to walk, I took them in my arms
    • Hosea 13: 8 I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs
    • Psalm 131 image of repose – like a child in its mother’s arms as content as a child that has been weaned
    • Ps 17:8 guard me in the shadow of your wings
    • Ps 36:7 all people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    • Ps 57:1 in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge
    • Ps 61:4 find refuge under the shelter of your wings
    • Isaiah 31:5 like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem
    • Isaiah 46:3 – 4 who have been borne by me from your birth carried from the womb… even when you turn gray, I will carry you. I have made and I will bear, I will carry and will save
    • Isaiah 66: 10 –13 comforting mother…… as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you
    • Luke 15:8 woman tirelessly sweeping for her lost coin, for what is important to her
    • Luke 13: 34 (Matt 23:37), how often I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.

    I am content to think of God as a father. I believe that our need to assign God gender comes because we can only imagine inanimate objects as being without gender. To me it doesn't matter whether God is male or female, or neither. What matters is that He loves me. My favourite image of God comes from Psalm 103.

    The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
    9 He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
    10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
    12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
    13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
    14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
    15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
    16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
    17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children..