One of the more fun elements of hearing God’s voice that I have experienced comes from unlocking my imagination. When I was in college I went on a trip to Central Asia and my companion prayed for me. As he prayed, I could see in my mind’s eye the heavenly Father holding my hand and walking me around my college campus back home. In that simple picture, the Lord revealed his tender fatherly care for me. Ever since that moment, my imagination has run wild with images of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with me at different times. Sometimes I visualize Jesus hugging me, jogging with me, smiling at me, and speaking to me. Sometimes I see him as a shepherd gently leading me to streams of living water. This unlocking of the imagination seems childish, I admit, but aren’t we called to have childlike faith? Aren’t we supposed to be experiencing God in part even now? Aren’t we supposed to set our minds on things above?
The imagination is a gift from God; why not use it to connect with him? However, we must be careful not to manipulate our imagination to conjure up a picture of God created after our image, but rather to visualize what he is like as revealed in Scripture and his Church. Having a sanctified imagination will help you abide in Christ in every moment of the day. It will help you to fulfill the call of Philippians 4:8, which says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Picturing the Father smiling down upon you, or Jesus wrapping his loving arms around you, or the Holy Spirit drenching you with his peace, are all images that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and worthy of praise. Let this be your filter when thinking about God and your mind will be guided in the right direction.
May your imagination be unlocked in such a way that your awareness of God’s presence is heightened and enriched in every moment of your life.