“Every picture tells a story, don’t it? ….” (My nod to the 1970s Rod Stewart song!) Visit my post from two weeks ago and see what I mean about the pictorial approach to invoke some exploration of ….
The signs and wonders, painted by a Hand much mightier than yours or mine, leave little to the imagination but carry a huge story. Such as a “halo” surrounding our house, a rainbow that began and ended on our property, an apple blossom in October in Wisconsin, a pair of wings on the wall in the bedroom, etc.
So, as you can see, every picture does tell a story, but every story should also “tell a picture.”
Stay with me here … it gets better! When we bought our farm, The Reservoir, and started our ministry, it was also the beginning of yet another wonderful journey. It included investigating the barns, silos and walking the terrain. It was reminiscent of the “trips I’d take and never leave the farm” (another 1970s nod ….) as a child.
I remember saying, “See ya, Mom … I’m going exploring!” There were no nooks and crannies of any barn on our property that I had not graced with my little nose. How excited I was at the treasures I’d find. How many tales I’d write on the spot of being a princess and having gifts brought to me on my throne …. Or I’d be a swashbuckler fighting off pirates thieving our goods. The episodes I’d encounter were endless; the ideas I’d conjure up truly were novel worthy! All of this I believed in my 7-year-old heart. A child’s imagination at that age is at its ultimate peak. And in our excited youthfulness we tell everyone our tumultuous tales with ease!
As I write this, I am just returning from an adventureland excursion. I walked and prodded, looking intently for those princes and pirates … I smiled with warm fuzzies billowing inside me!
As we age, why don’t we use our imaginations like the child we once were? Why do we allow our minds to “steal our goods?” Why is it politically incorrect to talk imaginative stories at a dinner party? (Aside from the obvious reason of everyone thinking you’re stark-raving mad ….) Is this really a bad thing? I think not!
Spending time around creative, animated children, laughing, pretending and innocently enjoying the made-up world, would help a lot of people today! If we would just slow down enough to actually allow our minds to wander … how great would that be?
I don’t know about you, but (meaning no disrespect here) I think we need an active imagination when reading the Bible. So many folks start and then give up because they just can’t, or won’t believe in something they cannot physically see. Or that they have not ever actually been a part of, or talked to someone else who has … that’s our analytical minds at work.
Sure the Bible illustrates the surroundings and events, but you need a little imagination to really put it all together. That’s why there are so many versions (if you will) of what really went on. Each interpretation, complete with parables, explanations and descriptions tell the same story differently to the many sects of people. That’s why we study.
I love to imagine the kings and prophets’ conversations outside of what was written. Their clothes, their amenities, the landscapes, the animals, the shear gigantism of Noah’s ark! I mean, c’mon … how awesome would that have been to see? However, without some “imagination,” we risk missing an important link to our understanding. If we’d make it more than a “religious writing” everyone should read, we’d reach more people. Now, of course I’m not suggesting we temper the factual teachings by any means, but some good visuals would help.
So when you read, imagine being there, feel the hot air of the desert, smell the sweet aroma of the anointing oils, see the sparkling waves of the seas, the bright colors of Joseph’s tunic. Touch the hand of a prophet, taste the lovely ripe fruits off the vine, drink from the golden goblets …. Use your imagination to enhance your exploration of scripture.