An Imagination for God

The function of imagination is not so much to make wonders facts as to make facts wonders. – G.K. Chesterton

Now, perhaps more than ever before, I long for closeness with God. I want to see the face of God, I want to rest in His security, I want to feel the strength of His presence. I want to be in love with God. But how can closeness with a silent, faceless, invisible being come to exist?

I have a tendency lately to create bad patterns where I think of one thing that causes me pain by default. To deal with this, I’ve set up a process through which I picture Jesus interacting with me anytime I begin to let the evil thoughts in. I imagine Christ with an expression of amusement, as though He is saying, “Why are you doing this again, little one?”

I have another image, of God the Father’s hand, large enough that I fit inside His palm, as though my physical body is a trinket inside a dish. I turn to this in times of weakness, stress, or loneliness.

The former image reminds me that I want friendship with Christ. I yearn for His companionship as I sort through my journey in the Shadowlands.

The latter image reminds me that even though I may feel overly capable in my human self at times, I have a natural need for God. This image reflects a father/child relationship and a type of security that only God could ever provide. No human person could create that sense of impenetrable safety and tenderness.

Closeness with God is something I constantly long for; a type of greed that I feel on a daily basis. A dear friend reminded me this week that this type of “rapture love” with God is a gift from Him, not an outcome of our own human work. Anytime I feel a poignant closeness with Him, it is a gift given out of His love that only He can provide. I possess no ability to control when I receive this gift. The only option is to approach love as a verb: keep working, keep praying, keep showing up, keep listening. Through this love in action, the gift of closeness with Him will be revealed, just as the greatest human love is received by giving of oneself.


2 thoughts on “An Imagination for God”

  1. I stumbled across your article while I was researching a sermon I’m preaching this Sunday about cultivating intimacy with God. I’d love to quote a section from what you wrote if you wouldn’t mind? Thanks for sharing your heart and desire to know God better. I appreciate the honesty of what you wrote!


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