“The God of your father—may he help you!
And may The Strong God (El Shaddai)—may she give you her blessings,
Blessings tumbling out of the skies,
blessings bursting up from the Earth—
blessings of breasts and womb.”
~Genesis 49: 21-26
To conclude our meditation on this image of a powerful, mothering God known in these passages as El Shaddai, the breasted God, let us consider another critical aspect of the birthing, breastfeeding, mothering relationship. The birth. The weaning. The launch. The mission.
One cannot stay in the womb forever. The body knows when it’s time to go.
One cannot stay at the breast forever. Eventually, this season also ends.
Jacob (now Israel) bestows this long, detailed blessing in Genesis to each of his sons, and it concludes with the commission: the blessings that tumble, the blessings that spring forth, the blessings of breasts and womb are meant to nourish us for a long journey – indeed, even for a long battle in Israel’s mind. He – of course – is intimately familiar with the wrestling partner that is the Divine.
And so he wishes for his sons the kind of long-term nourishment that comes from an intimate encounter with the Divine – the source of this perfect sustenance. This is food for the journey.
So, let us examine the nourishment you have received from spending time in the womb of God, from nursing at the breast of God. What did she give you? What is it for?
There comes a time when it’s the season to take the blessing out and be a blessing for others.