Ministry: Imagination and Spirituality

Bryan Stone says in Compassionate Ministry that imagination is “seeing without our eyes.” (Stone, pg. 2) Spirituality isn’t as easily defined, however. It isn’t the duality of this world and the spiritual, as we often hear it characterized, but rather the way we wrestle with who God is. It is “…the ongoing journey of integrating the entire texture of our everyday and ordinary living to what we take to be the whole in which we find ourselves.” (Stone, pg. 7) I feel like in my personal relationship with God these two things are very true for me but if I were really honest I would say that I am sometimes fearful when I think of my response to another person. I feel inadequate, ill-equipped; I pray often for God to echo His feelings through the chambers of my heart and pass His words through my lips. Then I act on what I feel and hope everything turns out alright.

Is that imagination? I believe that imagination is a gift from God that we can use for His work.

Romans 11:29 “For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

God’s gifts exist in us and I think that this may apply to our imagination. This is, from what I see in the Bible, one of the marked characteristics of God and it appears he generously and uniquely gifted it to each of us. Nobody is uncreative; humanity is astounding driven to create, much like our Creator. I have seen those poor in wealth use great creativity in procuring food, building shelter out of found materials, creating jobs to earn pocket change, figuring out how to improve something to sell “trash” at a profit. I’ve only met a few uncreative people in my life and my guess is it was my lack of searching to know them that kept me from seeing it.

For me, imagination in faith was inviting people at all places in their journey to do GISHWHES this year (an international “activities” scavenger hunt of doing kindness, silliness and fun https://www.gishwhes.com). As people get to know you, they want to know your story and for me, my story is God’s story. I feel like that turned out pretty well for the most part. I also have a tattoo on my arm that is an artistic representation of both being loved at our darkest and the time when Peter stepped onto the water with Jesus because Jesus called to him; it has allowed me to share both the Gospel and my vulnerability with people so that they, in turn, could be vulnerable with me. It’s been pretty amazing.

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