In today’s Jack’s Winning Words blog this quote is used – “I shut my eyes in order to see.” (Paul Gauguin).
Jack went on to write about imagination and seeing “in the mind’s eye”. He even referenced John Lennon and his song Imagine, which he wrote as he imagined world peace for a world that seems to be constantly at war.
Athlete’s, especially those at the highest levels of their sport often use “visualization”, which is a form of imagining to “see” the play or shot that they are about to try, in order to practice and perfect it in their minds. Note that imagination starts with the same root as image – the visualization of something.
Many of us likely spend some time imagining what we might do with the money as we buy our Lottery tickets. It is amazing how generous we can be in our minds with imaginary money. I wonder how many would carry through on that imagined generosity if they actually won. I wonder what I would do?
For many, a time of prayer is also a time when we close our eyes, so that we can “see”. What we are looking for is our imagined image of God. With the exception of those who saw Jesus when He was on earth, no one has actually seen God; so we all try to imagine what He will look like.
There is a tendency for people to use the phrase “the face of God”, but that is limiting your imagination to your own human frame of reference. Why do we limit ourselves to imagining that God looks like us? How egotistical is that?
There is a cute commercial running right now about Chees-zits crackers in which one character tries to quiet a big wheel of cheese by putting his hand over what would be the location of a mouth on a human face. The wheel of cheese exclaims, “You think I have a mouth. I’m a wheel of cheese.” Perhaps God is saying to us, “You think I look like you? I’m God!” Let your imagination soar. Get outside the limits of your human existence and “see” God.
So, close your eyes and look for God. Perhaps it is in closing our eyes and shutting off the key way that we see and perceive the real world around us that we allow our minds to imagine the God that is not of this world, but of the world to come. Let your imagination take you there. Perhaps along the way your imagination will encounter “the peace that passes all understanding” – Philippians 4:7.
Close your eyes and pray. What do you see? Can you see God?
In seminary I remember reading a book, “Imago Dei,” the image of God. I came to see “Jesus” as God’s way of coming to earth in human form, speaking and acting in human ways, so that humans could understand (see) God’s will for them. Of course,, Jesus was more than that…but I look at Jesus and see God in human form, a form that I can understand. In Jesus, the unknowable God becomes more knowable. Theology 101!