“Imagine”… a word forever linked with John Lennon’s song of world peace through wishful thinking, a beautiful melody, wonderful sentiment – and that’s as far as he can go. Imagine imagination as a gift uniquely given to humanity. A gift enabling us to spread our wings and fly free of earthbound thinking and soar high above our present perceived pragmatism to catch a glimpse of what seems ludicrous or impossible. Imagine the origin of that ability coming from a God who anticipated us living in a fallen world with minds and feet like lead, so earthbound that left to ourselves we’d never think of flying. Mischievously and with huge delight he drops a healthy dose of imagination into our DNA and whispers to the angels with a smile, “Watch what happens now.”
Behold, the earthbound ones put sticks together and float on water, they fashion other materials into the form of crude wings, bounce two feet off the ground, crash and try again. “They’re imagining they can float, dreaming of flying and working out how to do it,” the Father gleefully nudges His Son, “They’re very little ‘me’s’ at work creating out of nothing what they first imagined in their spirits. It’s a miracle, I imagined them imagining and they’re doing it!”
It’s Christmas. A few years ago the British press carried the story of how Prince William spent a night amongst the homeless of London, slept in the streets and narrowly escaped being run over by a machine sweeping those streets in the early morning. Imagine walking out of your house, leaving family, children, job, bank savings, your everything….. to arrive in the slums of Mumbai where you will spend the next thirty years. You’re not leaving anyone or anything you have known because you want to get away. In fact you have a beautiful home, a wonderful family whom you adore, a job that fascinates you, and money to cover every need for the rest of your life.
Imagine one night in a dream God spoke to you. He showed you little children in Mumbai, mothers, and old men. He told you their names and revealed to you the cries of their hearts for things you never even comprehended ever lacking. One was thirsty, hadn’t sipped clean water in years, another had never slept in a bed, another had never had a warm meal, all of them had almost no comprehension of love. And God was asking you to go and be his hands and feet in that place, teach them to dream and imagine what could be… “Love them and mentor them into becoming what they will never be without my love being made visible and tangible through you”, He’d whispered.
If God spoke to me like that, I’d probably be thankful I’d awoken in my bed and it ‘had only been a dream’. I may have shared it with one or two people over coffee and we’d have continued in our earthbound lives…. “Can’t imagine God ever expecting me to actually do something like that.”
Imagine someone knocks on our door and hands us a rose, or chocolates, or does a random act of kindness despite our protests, “God just wanted me to bless you and show you that he is present and loves you.” Then the penny drops. God gave up everything to live in Mumbai, to die on a cross, to rise again, to release His Spirit into an earthbound world, to enable us to be His tiny little ‘Me’s’ in a very broken world where poverty is rampant amongst the materially rich. Jesus made the love of God real, tangible, present in a way we could never have even imagined. Grab hold of Him this Christmas, thank him, and imagine a New Year sharing life with Him and others…. imagine what could be….
Be awed that he loves you in your Mumbai so much as to share his Kingdom with you, Rejoice for there is Good news, Peace greater than understanding, and Hope beyond our wildest dreams.