The images of God as lover, friend, companion, and co-creator are more appropriate metaphors for the God of the covenant than are the traditional images of lord and king. Defining God’s power not as domination but as empowerment, they evoke a God who is with us instead of over us, a partner in dialogue who ever and again summons us to responsible action.
Rather than reminding human beings of their frailty and nothingness, these images call us to account as partners in a solemn compact–a compact that demands our response. We do not act most responsibly when we feel subjugated, worthless, and culpable, but when we know our own value, mirrored in the constancy of a God who is both friend and lover, a God who calls us to enter into the task of creation. We respond, not to avoid guilt, but because–as the kabbalistic tradition reminds us–what we do or leave undone as co-creators makes a difference in the world.
- Judith Plaskow
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