Dostoevsky’s writings have always been a source of inspiration for me. He is an author who I came to appreciate and respect more over time. Dostoevsky is an author who recognizes the depth of darkness in the human soul but also sees holiness and hope in it. He is a writer who fully recognizes the weight of the chains of greed, envy and anger but also knows the power of grace, forgiveness and reconciliation. For me the most important aspect in his works is the presence of the divine which is not an abstract and separate dimension but an active force, a reality and a part of everyday life. Dostoevsky was a deeply spiritual person, a man of faith and a follower of the Russian Orthodox Church. The roots of his faith go to his early childhood. His faithful mother along with nurturing and educating her children helped them find and form a relationship with Christ. Dostoevsky was only fifteen when he lost his mother. However, his mother’s gift of faith continued to shine and lead him throughout his life. Dostoevsky’s relationship with his mother continued and transformed to a theme and a character of a devout, spiritual woman in his writings.
The power of motherhood transcends the boundaries of time and space. A mother can be thousands of miles away, yet also fully connected and present in her children’s lives, able to feel the tiniest vibrations of joy, sadness and struggle they experience. A mother’s love is the most powerful force in the physical world we live in. It has the inner strength to withstand any difficulty, confront any danger in order to protect her children. A mother’s compassion is the sacred medicine that has the ability to cure and heal any wound, restore hope and revive a life. A mother always understands, always knows, accepts, forgives and loves unconditionally.
A mother’s love is probably the closest thing in this world to our understanding of God. In so many ways it resembles and reminds us about the divine, unconditional love of our God towards us. Both the Old and New Testament include depictions of God as a loving mother. The prophet Hosea so beautifully describes God feeling and acting as a mother bear robbed of her cubs, ready to defend and protect us against any danger (see Hosea 13:8). In the book of Deuteronomy we see God as a mother eagle that “stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young, God spreads wings to catch you, and carries you on pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11-12). Sometimes in life we might lose our way, drift away from God and become detached from our faith, but God will always be there, present in our lives and watching over us because as we read in the book of prophet Isaiah “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). And Christ speaking of his efforts and desire to restore and renew the relationship with humanity depicts himself a mother bird that tries to gather her chicks under her wings (see Matthew 23:37, Luke 13:34).
Love is only real and meaningful if we are open to experience it, ready to be loved and love back. As the mere memory of our mothers instantly fills our hearts with joy, peace and comfort, so can our faith and relationship with God. In the same exact way every human being needs to feel and experience a mother’s love, we also need the presence of our loving creator and heavenly father in our lives. The love of God which we can only experience through our faith heals, restores and renews. When it appears that there is no remedy capable of curing the wounds of our minds, a tiny drop of divine love can instantly renew and heal us. When it feels like our souls are drowning in the stormy waters of this world’s pressures, demands and noise, Christ is there, next to us ready to calm the stormy sea, ready to save and guide us to safety.