I fear that I am going to veer a little off topic here. I’m still considering biblical, informed imagination, but, I’m stuck there. Mr. Card’s book, Luke, the Gospel of Amazement , continues through the book of Luke, almost chapter by chapter. He takes a segment, divides it into major themes and gives us the information to fuel our imagination. In the introduction, Card says that he is not going to explain to us how to read imaginatively, so I am taking what I learn, the information I glean and following his lead. Not surprisingly, given the unsearchable depths of God’s word, I haven’t made it past chapter two.
I want pose some thoughts I have about imagination:
1. Our imagination is a direct consequence of being made in God’s image. Think of it, eternal God had never before seen grass, animals, rainbows or seas. In seven days His creativity and imagination formed all that we see. And God continues on a daily basis to imagine new finger prints that have never been birthed before. Scientists are routinely discovering new species. Every single morning He brushes a new sunrise across the sky and beds the stars.
2. It is interesting that when Zechariah exited the temple, mute, no one poked him and tried to force him to speak. No one rolled their eyes and whispered to their neighbor, “The old man must have been dreaming.” What has happened to our sense of wonder and our ability to accept what we cannot understand?
3. Imagination is essential to belief. Imagination might be the ability to believe the amazing – the wondrous – the things we wonder about. That’s why kids are so much more adept at it than adults. That might be why Jesus said that heaven requires the faith of a little child.
4. Did God come to Mary, still young, because her imagination was still ripe and her mind could still stretch to conceive that which wasn’t “normal?”
5. Maybe we don’t listen attentively and walk by the Spirit because we can’t imagine that God would speak to us. Abraham didn’t try to convince himself that the instructions to sacrifice Isaac were the result an errant imagination.
6. Can you imagine eternity? When I was little, my sisters and I used to describe our efforts to comprehend eternity as though just as we grasped the tendrils of it, something would snap shut, or hit us in the head.
Don’t try to read the Bible without allowing for the truth that seems inconceivable. God will never be contained by our systems, explanations, physical laws or moral codes. The juxtaposition of grace and wrath, justice and mercy, Christ’s death and eternal life – can’t be explained. Revel in the glory of God’s amazing imagination!