Tapping into God’s Creativity
I came home from church that Sunday not in my Sunday best. Oh, my clothes were okay, but my adolescent heart was in tatters. I’d been praying for a family member for months, seemingly to no avail. The Gospel reading that day had been about Jesus calming the sea, but I had missed the boat. Christ’s power with the wind didn’t peace amid the storms in my soul.
A friend had recently told me that the ancient practice of visualizing Scripture stories had given her a thirst for the Bible she had never known before. Could my imagination help me take a story I’d heard umpteen times and get something new from it, or renew something old and somehow lost within me? My doubting mind and mood said, definitely not! But I was desperate.
First, I reread that Sunday’s Gospel. As expected, it did nothing for me. Then, as my friend had instructed, I asked the Holy Spirit to direct my prayer. I confessed my inability to feel prayerful and my need for help. Still doubtful, I closed my eyes. Help came. The Spirit of God is incredibly creative! (Duh)
The Senses of the Imagination I began to use all of my senses to imagine as vividly as possible what I might have heard, seen, smelled, tasted, and felt if I had been with Jesus in the boat that day. I experienced the assault of the wet wind, the rocking of the boat, the smell of the salty, fishy air around me. The vessel was swaying so violently that with each tilt it picked up buckets of water.
The anger I’d been feeling all week turned into its original, root emotion—fear! Are we in this world alone? At the mercy of chaotic forces around us? Is God paying attention to our plight?
I turned to see Jesus, who sat in the back of the boat—sleeping! “Wake up!” I pleaded.
The World Was Unplugged Jesus stood, lifted His arms, and brought utter calm to the waves. He stilled the wind. It was as if time stopped. The world was unplugged. I had never heard a silence so complete in my life. Yet, at the same time, the stillness was somehow alive, filled with Divinity.
Then Jesus stood near me, looked into my eyes for an eternal moment, and asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you yet have no faith?” I suddenly awakened, keenly aware–God had not changed.
The God who had been with me through every stormy moment was there. As always. In ALL ways–PRESENT.
I had nothing to fear from the tempests in my life. I knew the power of God once again, on a deeper level, and I saw the power of Spirit-led creative, imaginative prayer. God would build on that experiential knowledge of the power of the imagination years later when I found myself happily immersed in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But that story will wait for another post.
My prayer for you–today, be aware.
God’s Life floods your heart.
It’s always Raining Grace.