Written Fall of 2007
My son, Patrick, recently left for college, but before he did, he wrote a long-winded justification for reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. He states, “the book series not only stirs the imagination, but instills the concept that people cannot be judged so easily and put into boxes to fit our needs. “
You see, I am probably to blame for his praise of the imagination since I’ve always tried to encourage that in my children. I encouraged them to read and draw and act in order to experience real and fictional people and places. But recently I came across a book titled, The Praying Life by Deborah Douglas that even encourages imagination as we seek God. “In the church….a preference for ‘right thinking’ can starve our minds and hearts of much of the richness of Scripture, poetry, and our own experience. We can refuse to believe that God can speak to us through our imaginations,” states Douglas. In this way we limit the “messages of God” because they don’t conform to what we see as plausible or rational.
“Fortunately,” she adds, “God is wonderfully inventive and patient with us, finding all sorts of creative ways to ‘steal past the watchful dragons’ that jealously guard our minds. Memories, dreams, intuition, prayer ‘too deep for words’—these gifts from God operate within us at a level far beyond conscious control or intellectual understanding.”
And thank God. In recent months, I’ve found that prayer and listening for God’s voice has transformed my spiritual life. We become immune to the work of angels all around us. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.” Listen for God today because I’m sure he wants to speak to you! –BBM