Harvey – a great black and white movie starring Jimmy Stewart, is one of my favorites. Elwood P. Dowd’s best friend is a six foot, three and half inch invisible white rabbit who accompanies him throughout his day helping him. The movie also has some great spiritual lessons too:
Ponder these delightful quotes from Elwood:
“Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for thirty-five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.”
God accompanies us in our daily walk too. Now I am not saying God is an invisible tall rabbit, but though others cannot see him with earthly eyes, we see him and know he is with us.
What a wonderful offering to us from God – the gift of imagination. Using our imagination can help us recognize where God is touching our lives.
Active imagination is a “tool in which a bridge is establish between one’s conscious and unconscious self through the use of imagery.” (Alan Jones)
Imagination helps us find the language to express what our souls and mind find as inexpressible. Encounters with the holy are often rooted in symbols and images.
“Imagination is the creative task of making symbols, joining things together in such a way that they throw new light on each other and on everything around them. The imagination is a discovering faculty, a faculty for seeing relationships, for seeing meanings that are special and even quite new.” (Thomas Merton quoted in The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther de Waal)
How can we use imagination in our search for healthy spirituality?
1. Take a well known Bible story – The Good Samaritan, Peter walking on the water or the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, for example. Quiet yourself and reread the story slowly. Imagine yourself one of the characters: the beaten victim left to die, one of the disciples sitting in the boat watching Peter, the unnamed person walking with a friend toward Emmaus. What are you feeling? What do you see/smell/ taste/ hear? Imagine with great details – the dusty road, the salty sea. What does Jesus say? Imprint his face, his eyes in your memory. Journal about your experience.
How have you used imagination in your spiritual walk? How you used any of these methods to help you feel closer to God?