It all started close to 7 years ago. It was not intentional by any means; the idea of using my imagination to talk to God was quite freaky really. How do I describe this…? After complaining to God that I thought He was mean one evening, I immediately saw (in my mind’s eye of course) a man sitting on the couch across from me, looking relaxed, and I had the sense that it was supposed to be Jesus.
I know. Weird. I knew it wasn’t something I was secretly wishing for or conjured up on my own! To say that it threw me off guard would be an understatement, but aside from my initial surprise I would have to say I responded quite well when it happened. (chuckle) What I came away with from that encounter was the notion that perhaps He wasn’t as mean as I thought.
Since then, the willingness to use my imagination has gradually become more of a natural way of communicating with Him, but only because it became evident that I wasn’t jumping off the deep end. I discovered that my heart will connect to Him so much easier when I can visualize Him with me when I talk with Him, or imagine the scene in my mind as I read the Bible. Maybe I’m weirding people out by admitting this, but I’m o.k. with that. I always, always use the Bible as my reference point since I believe it’s the Word of God and that it is true. And so far nothing I have experienced in my imagination has contradicted truths written there. If nothing else, it has deepened my beliefs far more than simply praying to the Someone I can’t see, or reading words on a page.
Something profound happens when I am listening to Him speak to me, and then see Him put His arm around me in a hug, or kiss me on the forehead when He tells me He’s proud of me or calls me Darlin’. One could easily assume that I’m simply missing my Dad and am superimposing the relationship I had with him onto God. Well… – no. I was my Daddy’s girl, no doubt about it, and I think that that has definitely contributed to my ability to accept the concept of a Father’s love for me. But when I see Jesus with me, it’s so comfortable… like we are best friends, but better. I jump up when I see Him walking toward me, and I hug Him so tight, beaming from head to toe. He always says something that surprises me and warms me to my very core. Its different every time, too.
Why do I bother sharing this? Well, the fact that I’m a broken record when it comes to the differences between what we think we know as opposed to what we truly believe is no secret. Our hearts are that place where our beliefs have their headquarters, and it’s predominantly through experiences or repetition that beliefs are created – true or false. If we hear or experience something that causes us to have an emotional response to it, that “something’s” effect will remain with us, like it or not.
When we worry about things, we imagine all sorts of possible crazy scenarios, or when we want something badly we fantasize about what it would be like to have it… So the idea of using our imagination to commune with our Creator in a way that draws an emotional response should not be so scary, provided it is plumbed by the Word of God.
Go ahead, I dare ya. Try using your imagination. You know He made it right? (stupid grin)