The talk that N.T. Wright gave in the previous post resounded fully in my heart. I've been mulling over the topic of imagination on and off for the past year or two. Matthew 18 says At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Children have an uncanny ability to be themselves, to say it like it is, to trust and to imagine or pretend. These attributes are some which belong to one who is great in the kingdom of heaven.
As Bishop Wright pointed out, when someone is exposed to mystery, beauty and possibility they are more likely to believe then before they were exposed (paraphrase). I believe in who God is dogmatically. It is a little harder for me to believe in what He could possibly do. It's not that I don't believe in the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about heaven on earth, I do. By because of my sinful nature I fall into a place of not actively believing. The first step in actively believing requires imagination. Can I imagine a need being filled? Can I imagine myself or someone else being healed? Can I imagine doing something that seems unlikely for me? Can I imagine being able to do something that I have not been able to do in a while? You get the idea.
Imagination does have it's limits. We should not entertain the thought that our own strength, will and imagination can bring about what we might think is utopia. Whatever we do that is not the will of God will fade. Expressed imagination can also amplify whether someone is seeking the Lord or being selfish, or worse. Prayerful imagination brings one to a place where faith is encouraged and courage is normal. Imagination along with a contrite spirit can warm the cold adult heart and clear the way in order to better hear the voice of God.
Lord give me the grace to even be able to imagine.
10 months ago