In today’s post to his blog, Pastor Freed used this quote – “Where there is no imagination there is no horror.” (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Halloween is a time when we let our imagination of scary things run amuck. Our imaginations can also take us to good places and provide the fuel for hope for a better future. Sometimes we call imagining without any particular direction in mind daydreaming. We let our imaginations run away with us. John Lennon challenged our ability to imagine things in his song – Imagine.
There is an interesting, and one might say necessary, interplay between imagination and faith. Indeed faith cannot become strong in someone’s life without imagination. Religion is built upon things that we cannot physically see; rather we must believe and try to imagine what God and Heaven and other major part of our religious beliefs must be like. That is both good and bad – good because our imagination allows us to wrap our heads around what would otherwise be enigmatic, but bad because it confines our understanding to the pitiful limitations of our own imaginations.
We are told that we will experience a peace in the afterlife that is beyond understanding and then we try to imagine what that must feel like. We are told that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us in his Father’s hose, a place with many rooms and we imagine a giant Motel 6. We buy into the cartoon images of people with wings standing around talking to each other and the thought that we will again “see” everyone who has gone before us, as if we are at a vast family reunion.
Like most, I have tried to imagine what joining all of the souls that have gone before in the afterlife might be like. The best image that I can conjure up is the final scene for a character from a sci-fi TV series. The character I remember is Odo. Odo played by René Auberjonois, is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is a member of a shapeshifting species called Changelings and serves as the head of security for the space station Deep Space Nine on which the show is set. In his final scene at the end of the series, Odo rejoins the “great link” a vast ocean of shapeshifter souls, each a tiny drop in the is ocean and yet all joined together to make up the formless body of the “great link” ocean. He dives into the ocean and is gone, but still there. Imagine your soul joining all of the souls that have gone before in heaven (the “great link”) where you are nowhere and everywhere at once, all connected, yet each separate. Imagine that.
What do you imagine when you think about God and heaven? I know that you are imaging for something better than a Motel 6.