As y'all may know, I finished reading Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. I also mentioned that it would be the basis of my next few Sunday Questions. After some thought, I want to talk about something that bothered me about the book.
Keeping Faith is about a woman named Mariah White. She catches her husband with another woman. Her daughter (Faith White) witnesses this as well, though because of her young age, she has no idea what it means. Colin (the husband) leaves. This is the second time he was caught with another woman. Well, soon after this incident Faith starts talking to an imaginary friend whom she calls her "Guard". This worries Mariah, so she takes Faith to see her therapist. They test her, finding that she is perfectly normal. The therapist considers the fact that Faith might by seeing God. Mariah talks to a rabbi, considering she and Faith are both (non-practicing) Jews. Many priests follow along with representatives from Vatican City and such. People hear about this and over the course of a few weeks, hundreds of people are lined up in front of their house, believing that Faith is talking to God and/or Jesus. A "teleathiest" named Ian Fletcher hears about this and decides to pay the Whites a visit. When he gets there, he confronts Millie Epstein, Mariah's mother and Faith's grandmother. This ends in Millie suffering a heart attack. She is declared DOA around three o'clock, only to come back to life over an hour later. The Whites are bombarded with even more media attention and people in front of their house. After Faith heals an AIDS child and is discovered to have stigmata, her father hears about this on the news. He sues Mariah for custody of Faith. (Meanwhile, he has married Jessica, the woman Mariah caught him with. Jessica is pregnant.) Mariah flees with Faith to Kansas City, Missouri. It turns out that Ian Fletcher is on that same plane because he visits his autistic brother Michael every Tuesday. Ian convinces Mariah to stay with him, originally to try and get her to admit that Faith is a fake and to disprove her "miracles". He gets Faith to try and heal Michael. It doesn't turn out well and Ian discovers that though he had expected Faith to fail, he had hoped she wouldn't. Mariah and Ian fall in love around this time. They fly back home when Millie tells Mariah that Colin is suing her. Faith is admitted into the hospital again after she starts bleeding for no apparent reason. The court prevents Mariah from seeing her, believing that Mariah might have been the one to cause the bleeding in the first place. When it seems as if Faith might die, Mariah breaks the court's orders and goes to the hospital. Faith begins to heal after she was reunited with her mother. Mariah is awarded custody. Faith's stigmata disappears and her "Guard/God" goes away. At the end of the story, it's kind of confusing. You don't know if she is really gone, or if she's still with Faith.
(If you have read Change of Heart, Ian Fletcher makes a brief appearance. Apparently, he marries Mariah and they have twin boys. I wouldn't really know, because I haven't read it. But I definitely will.)
I forgot to mention that Faith claims her guard/God is female. That was what I wanted to talk about today. Personally, when I read that, it kind of... upset me, in a way. I was used to thinking of God as a Father. Millie once made a comment. Something along the lines of: "I always wondered why God was a Father. Mothers are the ones that love you unconditionally."
That wasn't exactly what she said, but it was something like that. I agree that mothers love you no matter what. That's just how they are. But what about fathers? They're the ones that would do anything to protect you. Of course, a mother would also do anything to protect her children. Mothers are the ones who makes you feel better by offering a shoulder to cry on. Fathers protect you. I guess this isn't the case for some parents, but when you imagine the "prefect" parents, wouldn't you say that they follow these patterns? The mother who loves you. The father that protects you.
So, my Sunday Question:
Is God a Mother or Father? Both and/or neither?
Of course, there are people who say that God is neither male nor female.
"My Father who art in Heaven..." specifically says Father. In fact, the Catholic Church gets involved because Faith had said that God was female, which went against the whole idea that God was a "Father". I'll admit it, I think that God is a Father. That's something I've always thought. Believed. This question could be a matter of opinion, or religion. It got me thinking. Mother? Father? Both? Neither? What did I believe? What do you believe?
"Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again." (House of Night, PC and Kristin Cast)
Have a good writing day!
And Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there!