Psalm 63 contains words about the writer being in the “shadow of [God’s] wings;” a phrase that is echoed many times in scripture. It is also a fitting phrase to examine more closely in the shadow of mother’s day.
The word we translate as “wing” in Hebrew is “kanaf,” and it has several meanings. One meaning symbolizes God’s mercy and protection. While in the wilderness, God reminds the Israelites of what he did to the Egyptians and “how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me” (Exodus 9:4). Visually, this is like an eagle who teaches their young to fly by carrying them on their wings.
In a related meaning, wings are used to symbolize God’s love and nurturance. The common English saying, “to take someone under one’s wing” conveys much the same idea. Interestingly, when this specific symbol is used, the phrase is grammatically written as a feminine aspect of God.
Not only does God offer the forgiveness and protection of a father, but the care of a mother. It is because we are under God’s wings that we are able to praise him in all the days of our lives.
Almighty Protector, though thousands fall around me, raise me on Your wings. Hold me there so that I am forgiven, protected, and loved. Amen.