Marcia Lee Laycock won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her devotionals have been endorsed by Mark Buchanan and Phil Callaway and have won awards in Canada and the U.S. Visit her website – www.vinemarc.com
A few nights ago I watched a rather bizarre but intriguing film called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnansus. It was based on the premise that the ‘good doctor’ could somehow give his customers exactly what they wanted once they stepped through a mirror into a mystical world, a world that came from their own imagination. A well dressed middle-aged woman imagined a world full of shoes. A man whose desire was only for corporate success ended up in a land full of tall ladders. And so on.
The film made me wonder. What kind of world would my imagination create? What’s lying at the root of my motivations, my dreams, my ambitions? What images and metaphors would fill a world spun from my deepest imaginings? I fear it would not all be as I would hope. I fear it would be as tainted by human nature as the worlds created by the characters in that movie.
But there is hope. There is good news. Though my imagination does spiral into depths I’d rather not discover, it can be redeemed. Indeed, it already has been. A. W. Tozer has said, “The value of the cleansed imagination … lies in its power to perceive, in natural things, shadows of things spiritual.”
As a Christian I have inherited a “cleansed imagination,” by virtue of the sacrifice of God’s own Son on a cross more than two thousand years ago. Though my mind may follow paths that are not cleansed, I am called to “take every thought captive” because it has been redeemed by Jesus Christ. I do not have to live in that place governed by my own imaginings. I can live in a place of grace and mercy and holiness, governed by the love of God. I can, in fact, discern those “shadows of things spiritual” and bring them to life in the imaginations of my readers.
Dr. Parnasus gave his customers what they thought they wanted and it all dissolved, in the end. God gives us everything we need and it accomplishes His purposes and brings us all to a most fitting end – His praise and His glory.