Friday, October 31, 2014

Divine Imagination

While we're talking about the Creation story, can we just take a moment to reflect on the imagination of a God who looked at nothing and saw everything? That's incredible! And it has two powerful implications for you and me.

First, I think we are a people who question our worth and our abilities at every turn. We are a people who look in the mirror and see nothing, but the God who created us sees everything He ever meant for us. No, that doesn't mean we're getting it right and that the way we are today is the way God intended us to be; it means that the seed of potential is within us, in some form or stage of growth, and that when God looks at us, what He sees more than anything is that seed. He sees not so much what we're harvesting as what He's planted, and He's forever fertilizing the soil of us to produce growth.

...Which is why life sometimes feels like...manure. 

But really, we're too hard on ourselves. We're too quick to see the failures and not the faith. We're too quick to admit that we've fallen short without realizing we have been raised up. We're too quick to look at our achievements and discount our potential. Life in God is about learning to see everything even when the eyes staring back at us in the mirror are haunted by nothingness. 

The second implication of being a product of God's imagination is more fun, and more whimsical. Think about imagination for a minute. Think about what imagination produces, what kinds of things live there. What lives in imagination is the impossible. Or at the very least, the improbable. It's the stuff of dreams and the stuff of fantasy. Unicorns, for example. And the pegasus. Monsters with four eyes and six arms and twelve toes on each foot. Things that could never be possible. 

And us.

In the divine imagination, at least, there is us. Which means a few things. It means that you, as God created you to be, could never be possible...were it not for a God who created you in the real world to be just that way. Sometimes, we struggle to understand how we came to be the persons we came to be. We wonder how all this is possible at all, and the truth is: it's not. You, me, all of Creation - it is, to an extent, not possible. It's a product of imagination. It exists only because the divine imagination has also the power to create, and He has done so. So it's not possible; it simply is.

It means that you are the stuff of dreams. God dreams about you. Did you know that? God lets the idea of you play around in His head, not like some toy but as an object of His desire. He dreams about you because He desires you. He desires you as you are and as you could be. The image of you that He dreams about is not your current self nor your perfect self but your becoming self. He dreams about the you that is taking faithful steps toward your created nature every day. He dreams about the you that is becoming His. He dreams about the you that He's already redeemed. And He dreams about all the things He has for you to do; He dreams about you doing them and what a tremendous impact that is going to have on His Creation. 

And it means that you are, at your core, a fantastical being. You're no different than the unicorn or the pegasus or the monster with four eyes and six arms and twelve toes on each foot. You are not a natural part of this world; you have been given to this world, and this world has been given to you but on its wildest whim, this world could not create you from itself. You are a product of pure imagination. You are a fantastical being; which is why it's fantastic to be you.

God looked at nothing and saw everything, so He created the world to be just this way. He looked at emptiness and saw you, so He created you. That's incredible! What a divine imagination!

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