Sometimes my imagination is like a shadow that moves on its own. I just have to follow it and hope it doesn’t get me into trouble when I try to capture the images it gives me.
Most of the time it treats me well, but it has a tendency to expect more than I can give. I can only use words, but it doesn’t seem to understand that they are touchy creatures, and putting them into sentences is usually a nasty business.
Yes, it’s a cruel taskmaster. It reigns in my skull, and when if it doesn’t get its way–if I don’t write the images–it’ll scratch itself out in an attempt to show people what’s bouncing inside. Apparently it thinks people will like reading what it desperately wants to say.
Imagination cut itself deep early on in my life, but without it, I wouldn’t have had the enriching childhood that made me into the writer I am today.
But what cuts deeper than imagination is the God who gives it. It may be pleasant to forget about him, seeking a life on a own course of my own. But such a life would help me hide in the dark, away from acknowledging all that God has done for me and the people I love…and the people I have a harder time loving. Further, he strips me of everything I can hang my name on (maybe he wants to save me the embarrassment of hanging my name on a bunch of junk). How can I live with such a God?
Only with his insistence do I see that I need him.
Only at my lowest can I see how much I need to be low.
Only with nothing left can I see that he is everything.
Only in the light can I see how deplorable my darkness is.
So this is why I profess Christianity: I see the darkness inside, but so does Jesus, and he never stops telling me it’s OK because he has me now. Darkness has a way of retreating when the light shines brighter, and, pessimist that I am, it’s a relief to know the Light is not up to me to create.
I’m just called to reflect–to be an image-bearer, not the image itself.
Echoing John the Baptist’s famous words, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The longer I live the more I need the light of Christ to remind me that I am a feeble creature.
Even so, my darkness has no intentions of going quietly. So even though I’ve been conquered by the tactics of God, my soul wrestles with him–I hope to come out a better man.
And my imagination is always there to make things interesting with its demands on my pen.
God, please get the right words out of me.
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