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IMAGINATION: RENT-FREE SAFE SPACE

WHEN I USED TO LIVE IN San Francisco, we spent a lot of time talking about good spaces--and how much they cost. I work from home, so I am often looking for good coffee shops to sit in. The best ones have a good amount of seating, available outlets, good food and coffee, and free wifi. And natural light! I’ll probably pay at least an extra dollar for coffee if there’s good light. 


Physical spaces are easy to talk about, but what about metaphysical spaces? These are what we deal with as we fumble around the spiritual life. That’s why it can be difficult to talk about spirituality sometimes. It feels insufficient when it gets boiled down to theological terms, when there is this profound experience that many of us have when we encounter God. Think about the many people who encountered Jesus after the resurrection. I feel pretty sure they weren’t thinking about the nature of Jesus’ divinity. They were excited to be back with the Person whom they dearly loved. I imagine they were delighted to simply be sharing physical space with Him again. As a Christian, the center of my religion is my own encounter with the risen Lord. 


I’d love for you to take 5-10 minutes to try a simple imaginative exercise. Get yourself into a comfortable spot with minimal distractions (turn your phone on silent and put it in the other room). 


Close your eyes and use your imagination. If there were a space where you were going to meet with God, what would it look like? What would it feel like? 


Allow yourself to be surprised in what you imagine. Your space might be empty or full of boxes. Your space might be really fun and exciting, or maybe quiet and serene. 


What do you see around you? Are you in a room or outside? What’s the temperature like? Do you smell anything? Take some time to imagine this space and ask God to meet you there--maybe, like after the resurrection, Jesus will meet you there. 


Exploring these images with people has been one of the greatest privileges of my work. I am often so delightfully surprised by the way this exercise gives people words to describe and talk about their relationship with God. It’s beautiful to get to be a witness to the variety of ways people experience Him. This is one of the greatest gifts of being a spiritual director. 


Share this with a friend who will try this exercise with you! Then shoot me an email and let me know about the experience. I’d love to hear about it!

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