“What does it mean to see a picture in your “mind’s eye”? This is like a screen inside your head where you see pictures of things all the time. If I ask you what your house or your car looks like you will probably picture it in your mind’s eye. This is also called your imagination. God gave you an imagination so you could experience His love for you.” Linda Boone; Intimate Life Lessons: developing the intimacy with God you already have.
We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, right? So wouldn’t it make sense that part of the language of the Kingdom of God would be in pictures as well?
Jesus seemed to think so. How many times did He describe the Kingdom of God with images and stories that the average person could understand? Well, according to John the Elder it would take more books than the world could contain to tell about all the things He said and did.
“To live in Christ is to live in the prophetic nature of God.”*
All throughout history God has chosen to speak to us in images, metaphors, dreams, visions and out-of- mind experiences. In the garden He created snakes that could actually talk. When He spoke to His friend Abraham He said that his children would be like the stars in the sky and the sand in the ocean. In the desert He used a burning bush to speak to Moses, a staff that could eat up snakes, and snakes that would heal the sick.
When Jesus taught the people about the Kingdom of God, instead of reading from the Torah He told them stories that used imagery like buried treasure, pearls, grapevines, storms, coins, little children and weddings. He also used similes such as, “The Kingdom of God is like….” or “A man went out….” to help them understand.
A new language for a new way of thinking about and seeing God.
Just as Jesus knew how important it was for the children of Israel to learn a new language in order to understand this new way of experiencing intimacy with He and His Father, so Holy Spirit knows how important it is for you and I to learn the same lessons today.
*Approaching the Heart of Prophecy: Graham Cooke 2006; Punch Press, Winston-Salem, NC. pg. 5
Your heavenly Father wants you to experience everything there is about love, intimacy, and what it means to be the Beloved. And sometimes the best way to do that is to give you pictures or images instead of words. Why? Because there are times when words will only touch your intellect and not your emotions. As though pictures and images are the keys that unlock that part of you that is best able to experience Abba’s love, affection, and embrace.
On our last blog we had you practice letting Holy Spirit speak to you from pictures you found in magazines or on the internet. For today’s exercise, after spending time soaking in Abba’s love, take out your box or bag of pictures and chose a new one. But this time, instead of just seeing the overall picture be more specific. Spend time looking at details such as the colors, images, and shapes.
What was it about the picture that caught your attention, inspired you to cut it out or save its image? Was it the image itself or did it remind you of something or someone? Did it make you feel happy or sad, safe or afraid? When you look at it does it seem full of light or does it feel as if it has shadows or darkness about it?
Sometimes a picture will speak to you about a time of loneliness, confusion, fear or hidden longing. At other times it will remind you of family, friendships, or spark another picture from a different time. Whatever it is that the picture you are meditating on invokes, give Holy Spirit time to speak to you about it. Often the very things that keep us from experiencing Abba’s love and affection can be discovered in a picture. Be sure to write everything down.