You can't see anyone else in the dinghy - just me. My husband snapped this photo while we were in the Octopus Islands off Vancouver Island. Living on a small boat for two weeks sometimes has us both craving a bit of solitude. Going for a paddle in the dinghy provides that. My mind drifts along with the waves and the current, and meanders along an endless variety of topics.
Being in the natural world of creation is where I often feel closest to God, and this day I had a particularly strong sense of his presence, so much so that I could almost see Jesus sitting in the dinghy in front of me, wearing blue jeans, with bare feet. We conversed a little, but mostly it was a time of silent companionship as I rowed along the shore admiring the rock formations, the shadowed forest, and the play of light on the water. A monarch butterfly fluttered among the trees, bright orange against shaded green, and I sensed Jesus' smile at my delight.
Using my imagination deepens my spiritual life, my connection to God, and I have begun practicing this deliberately. When I say the Lord's Prayer "let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven", I take the time to think and imagine how it would really look to see and experience God's will in various situations. Then, I am moved to act towards seeing God's kingdom come on earth.
When I imagine myself in the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15), I imagine sorting through my belongings, casting this and that aside in a frantic effort to find what I really need at the moment - that coin. I sense the woman's desperation at the loss, her deliberate efforts to find it, and finally, her intense joy and the compelling desire to share her find with her friends. I am then moved to reflect on what is of such great importance to me. What is it that I have searched for, and found, and must share with my friends and neighbours?
I'll leave you with a few quotations on imagination that I have been pondering recently.
"The Christian imagination plays a great role in the spiritual development of the soul." (St. John of the Cross)
"The life of faith is less about gathering information than it is about expanding imagination...Only in our imagination can we begin to contain even the smallest expression of the bigness of God..." (Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul, p 100-101)
"There is something mysterious and perhaps more than moral about the power and call of imagination." (G. K. Chesterton)
Lorrie Orr writes from southern Vancouver Island where she spends time with her husband boating and hiking. She delights in spending time with her five grandchildren and introducing them to God's amazing creation.