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LISTENING TO YOUR IMAGINATION


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Imagination is one of the most powerful resources we have for communing with God. He gave us the ability to imagine things that don’t exist so that we can know Him--the one that is more real than anything else, but wholly beyond our understanding. As a result, images are a huge part of my prayer life. I wanted to share one in particular with you today. 


There’s one image I’ve been reminded of a lot lately. It’s a little silly, but my images often are. :) A little over a year ago, almost every time I would spend time trying to listen to God and sharing things that were on my mind, I would see this picture of myself in a manhole with my arms spread out over the ground preventing myself from falling completely into the hole. Also in this picture, I saw Jesus trying to push me down into the hole. The whole thing had that feeling of one of those funny spy/crime movies with Melissa McCartney.  I could hear myself in this image whining to Jesus, “I don’t want to go. Don’t make me do it.” And He’s going, “Just do it already. Just trust me. Just get down in there.” I’m not sure I’m adequately representing the tone here. It might sound kind of harsh, but it always made me laugh because it just seemed so ridiculous (anybody else into dark humor?). He wasn’t being mean. I was just annoyed. 


During that time I was going through therapy and some intense spiritual transformation. I’d often be feeling apprehensive about taking a next step, and then I’d get this picture of the manhole and know that I needed to let go of what was holding me back and just drop in. Sometimes that was easier than others. Sometimes I’d imagine myself rolling my eyes and dropping in. Other times I’d be crying and shaking with fear and Jesus would gently peel my fingers from the pavement promising that it was going to be okay. 


Since then, I’ve had other images that have stayed with me. Sometimes they are static; other times they change as I take steps of obedience toward what I feel God is calling me to. Sometimes I think God gives me these images as promises or sort of memories so that I can more clearly remember His faithfulness and what we’ve been through together. Serving an intangible God makes these pictures invaluable to my visual mind.


So what about you? Do you have a picture that describes the way you’re interacting with God right now? Is it funny? Is it gentle? Does that feel strange to even think about? Take some time and close your eyes and allow your imagination to do its job. You might learn some things about how you’re feeling toward God and how He is speaking to you.

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