Sometimes I have a hard time knowing how to talk about God. There’s that awkward moment when I can’t just say “God” and have to choose a pronoun. The vast majority of my experience, inside and outside the church, suggests the correct answer is “he”. It’s everywhere really. In our songs. Our prayers. Our language about God. After all, if God is “Father” and “Son” it makes sense to use masculine descriptor words.
Lately this has been a sore subject for me. Every time I hear someone say “he” in reference to God I autocorrect “or she” in my head (and sometimes out loud). This happens simultaneously with a feeling of being stabbed repeatedly in the side with a sharp little knife saying “God is male, God is male”. I don’t think this is the intention of those who use male pronouns, but that’s how I react. Something within me wants to scream and explode and hide and cry and storm out. All at the same time.
I want God to be personal. Accessible beyond a transcendent being who I can’t talk to, picture, or see. But in all the male images and way of speaking of God, as a woman, I feel a little lost. Wasn’t I created in God’s image too? If female and male is all a part of God’s image, doesn’t that mean that there’s a “she” in God too?
I’m not suggesting that we rid the world of male pronouns for God. Obviously those have been and can be very meaningful ways of interacting with our Creator. However, I am saying that we’ve left out an essential part of how we understand God. And we should do something about it. We can start by entering into the rich, barely-explored, meaningful, beautiful space that is the “she” of God.