Calling Her by Name

Woman smoke abstractby Louise Davis, M.Div.

“I celebrate with M.T. Winter when she prays, ‘Our Mother who is with us, we celebrate your many names.’ I know , in my head, that God is actually neither male nor female —both Father and Mother,” Louise Davis told readers of CFT in describing the background of her poem, “Yet in my heart and soul I relate to Herself..”

I just sat through a traditional Christian
worship service.
We prayed
Lord, give us strength,
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
We sang hymns to him.
Communion was consecrated around
Jesus Christ,
only Son of the Father.

Last summer I attended a Catholic
worship service
in Mexico with my son-in-law’s parents.
Since I don’t speak Spanish,
it was fascinating.
I recognized the Lord’s Prayer because of the cadence
and it began with El Senor.
When we stood and sang Alleluia, I knew the Gospel would be read next.
I understood that Communion
would not include me.
I translated into my own language
and was able to authentically pray
and worship.

When life is good and I am strong,
I am able to translate in a male-centered service.
Even though I feel excluded, as I did
during Catholic Communion,
I am able to authentically pray
and worship.

But when I truly need God,
as I do now as Marge is dying of ALS,
I don’t have the energy to translate,
and I’m not included.
There is no authenticity when I pray;
I cannot worship.
The service leaves me
empty and aching.

In my time of need, She must be included.
Grandma God, Sophia, Holy Mother.
She has called me by name
having knit me together in
my mother’s womb.
When I call Her by name,
especially in community,
I find comfort, support, solace, strength,
I am held in Her loving arms.
In relationship, I pray
and worship.

© 2007 Evangelical & Ecumenical Women’s Caucus, volume 31, number 1, Spring (April-June) 2007

Louise Davis
Louise Davis has served as a representative on the EEWC Executive Council and has been an active social justice advocate, most recently in the area of immigration. She has contributed poems and essays to Christian Feminism Today.


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