When I was little I love to pretend I lived in far off places, or was a professional singer or that I lived on a farm as a pioneer. Pretending was remarkably fun. I would imagine what life would be like as a different person or place and my actions followed.
My mom used to read to us. I would close my eyes and imagine that I was in Narnia or was a passenger on the Little Engine that could. My imagination again took me to other places and I felt the emotions and the fear and the excitement of each place we would visit in the stories read.
I was a child with a wild imagination. I would dream up cities, careers, characters and put myself fully into the story or circumstance I pictured in my mind.
I don’t know that I realized how important it was that I used and developed my imagination as I did. Nor did I know that imagining with Jesus was an option. I remember one time reading the story of the paralyzed man, who’s friends carried him to the roof top to drop him down to Jesus and the woman reading the story told us to use our imaginations to put ourselves in the story. I remember choosing to be the man on the mat, i felt what it was like to be carried, trusting them as they let me down and feeling anxious and peaceful as I was lowered to Jesus. I imagined what it was like being healed and wondering if I’d be able to walk out of the room and all the way home. It was one of the first times that I experienced Jesus, rather than only sought to understand him scholastically when reading the gospels.
I began to imagine more. If I were in a tense situation, I would imagine Jesus were with me and feel calm. If I were sad, I’d imagine Jesus sitting with me and I’d feel comfort. Imagination became a way of experiencing Jesus. And it has become a practice that has allowed me to know more of Him.
Today’s practice is: Imagine
Choose a story from the four Gospels. Read the story. Imagine you are a character in the story. Read it one more time. What do you see? What do you think about what’s going on? What is challenged within you? What do you feel? Who else is there? How does it feel to be around Jesus. Write out your experience.
Now, take a moment to be silent. Is there a situation in your life where you need wisdom, comfort or perspective. Imagine being in a room with that situation. How does it feel? What does it bring up for you? What do you notice about your body? Next, imagine Jesus walks in the room. What happens? What do you see? What do you experience? What do you know? How does the situation change? Is there an invitation or new perspective given when he is there? Take some time to write and reflect on these things.
Our imaginations are a gift to us, for they can help us to enter in to greater experience and intimacy with Jesus.
Listen: Close your eyes and imagine as you listen (use this piece of music as the backdrop for imagining with Jesus. Allow the music to be a part of the experience.)
Pray: Father thank you for creating us with minds that can imagine. I ask that your Spirit consume my imagination and make it a place where I encounter you and see the world with Kingdom eyes and that I would be led by your Spirit in my thoughts. May I be given an imagination that leads me closer to you and gives me ideas and new perspectives on you and Your Kingdom. Increase in me, in every way. Today, may my imagination lead me closer to you. Amen