Thank you for your note about the Forward Day by Day reading for August 10. As you might imagine, with 300,000 readers, we hear from our readers every day, with reactions ranging from positive to negative.
With regard to the female pronoun for God in the meditation, I would first point out that this occurs in a quotation of someone else. It is not our place to edit the words of another person, and the use of the pronoun is secondary to the author's point. In other words, whatever the pronoun, the point of the meditation is that God supports us, but does not always protect us.
Still, I understand that you are concerned about the use of a feminine pronoun for God. At Forward Movement, we have not changed our understanding of the divine. If you review, say, the last year of publications, you'll see that we sometimes do not use pronouns, quite often we use masculine pronouns, and on very rare occasions, we keep feminine pronouns if our authors choose to write that way. We cling to the orthodox understanding of God, which is that God is not anthropomorphic, though our language may sometimes force us to use masculine or feminine words for God.
The writers of the Bible faced a similar challenge. The witness of the scriptures is clear. God is beyond human categories of male and female (Genesis 1:27). Most often, the scriptures use the conventions of their time and employ masculine pronouns for God, and conventional Trinitarian theology understands the three persons of the Holy Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, we risk heresy if we begin to believe that God the first person of the Trinity is, literally, a male human being.
In several places, the scriptures use feminine imagery to describe God (Deuteronomy 32:12-12, 32:18; Isaiah 66:13, Psalm 131:2). Jesus himself uses this kind of imagery (Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34). The word which is used to describe the Spirit in both Hebrew and Greek is feminine. It is only with Latin and, now, English, that we have switched to calling the Holy Spirit a "he."
My point is that using feminine imagery for God is hardly new, nor is it a challenge to orthodox theology. If we were claiming that God is a female, or insisting that people call God our Mother, then that would most certainly be a problem. But the use of an occasional female pronoun is in line with centuries of theological and scriptural witness. In fact, it may well remind us that God is bigger than our notions of "man" and "woman."
Please be assured that we will continue to do our best to publish inspiring material which is faithful to Christian theology. If you have further questions or concerns, please write or call any time. I do hope Forward Day by Day will continue to be a part of your life of prayer and study.
Blessings be with you this day and always.
The Reverend Scott Gunn