Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Recently I was chatting with someone who was sharing with me a story of how they had given a street person a cup of coffee and something to eat. They were not boasting about their act of kindness to this unknown stranger, but rather expressing a frustration that they wished they could do more. During the conversation the person said something which really spoke to my heart. They told me that when they see someone in need they try to imagine that person in a beautiful place.
Those words got me thinking. Imagination is a beautiful thing, and when we were children our imaginations were able to transport us to amazing places and we could have incredible adventures. Then, as we grew up, we became ‘realistic’ as we discovered that the world and life is not always the amazing place or incredible adventure we once imagined it to be. But, what if we could rediscover the power of imagination.
Nelson Mandela said this about the power of imagination: “the power of imagination created the illusion that my vision went much farther than the naked eye could actually see.” Mandela’s imagination wasn’t able to change his actual circumstances, but it did give him the strength to persevere through them and to dream about the possibility of a freedom he was yet to experience. Albert Einstein, probably one of the most intelligent men who has ever lived said this: “imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Walt Disney, who spent his whole life in an imagined world wrote: “laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.”
Mandela didn’t imagine the end of Apartheid into existence, but it did give him the strength to continue to work towards it. Einstein’s theory of relativity didn’t fall into his lap, but came to him as he dared to ask, What if?. Disney didn’t believe that the enchanted castles and worlds he created were real, but he knew that they could transport others to worlds of different possibilities. We must never underestimate the power of imagination to change a persons life, or even the world.
Isn’t this what our faith in Jesus calls us to do…to imagine our world as God intended it to be, and then to work towards bringing it into reality. Perhaps if we were to begin to imagine the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, the imprisoned in a beautiful place, then just maybe we might be more inclined to work towards making the imagined a reality.
Yours in Christ, Rev Mike.