04 March 2015

10Lent2015 "Our Mother..."

As a daughter with my mother's presence being constant and affirming in my 55 years of living, I ascribe to praying to God, Our Mother.

Informed by womanist rhetoric on the theology of gendering text, praying "Our Mother..." formed on my tongue prior to my attending seminary.  God as Mother is embodied by my mother, Autrey Stewart Dunlap, as God of presence, power, provision and protection. All Protestant vernacular associated with God are appropriate adjectives for who Mother embodies. 

So much so, that I wrote the poem, "When Mama Was God" as testament to God in flesh-- my understanding of all things divine as experienced in knowing and being raised by my Mother. Therefore I pray,

God, Our Mother, show yourself constant and sure, complete and eternal, to boys and girls who grow into men and women who struggle with your being both male and female. Make us less afraid to know you; less apprehensive to pray to you; less apt to ignore you. --Raedorah




When Mama Was God by Raedorah C. Stewart  ©2002 

My Most Recent Favorite Picture of Mama (74) & Me (54)

When mama was God
            She made miracles happen
            In the middle of a Houston ghetto
            The center of my universe, indeed.

She walked on water
            In three inch heels, matching bag
            With us five kids in her footsteps.

            She taught us to fear not
            Night lightening, thunderstorms
            Hard work,  new things, good success.



When mama was God
She created not one but two  
            Fancy Easter dresses and sewed
            Lace on my socks to match.

            She hollered for me from the porch
            Compelling me to come out, come out
            From all my favorite hiding places.

            She held me close with strong hands
            So close that I would inhale
            Warm fleshy bosom heat for air.

When mama was God
She stood her ground with white folk
            Those blue-eyed devils of pure evil
            Of the 60s… 80's… this new millennium.
            She laid hands on us/me
            So the cops wouldn't and trifling men couldn't
Healing bad attitudes and broken hearts.

She made a dollar holler
            On the occasions of more month than money
            Without robbing anyone of anything.

When mama was God
She blessed two fish and five loaves
            Or was that govm't cheese
            And canned mystery meat.

            She kept an open door policy
            Always meant that somebody else
            Would be sleeping on the living room floor.

            She prayed for us and others
            We eavesdropped listening for our name
            Knowing that no weapon formed against us would prosper.

When mama was God.

"Girl, you just like your mama,"
somebody said one day

when I was feeling a whole lot like God.

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