Imagination is a Gift

I don’t know what happened,” she said. Suddenly I had this entire white wall as my canvas and a palette of colors to play with. I lost track of time and let my imagination go wild.

It started as an artistic effort to paint a small mural of flowers on a little girl’s wall. However, my daughter said when she stepped out of our granddaughter’s room two hours later, there was an entire garden scene, complete with an apple tree, sunflowers, and a furry little bunny sitting beneath it all.

I thought about all the times I took crayons away from her when she aimed at the wall as a child.

I thought this was pent-up frustration, but she assured me it was just sharing her childhood imagination with her daughter.

The child in us has a way of awakening a part of us that we often put away when we become adults. As a child, we call it imagination. As an adult, we call it creativity.

We believed in fun things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny when we were small. Still, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we become convinced we must let go of those colorful imaginations to become spiritual and mature adults.

Every parent makes a vital effort when balancing the enjoyment of fantasy with faith growth during Christian holidays.

Sometimes the difference between allowing a child to believe in an imaginary Easter bunny and teaching them that Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates death and resurrection is not much.

Our imagination is a spiritual gift given to us when we are born. It is a white wall with a palette of beautiful colors and God’s way of preparing us all to believe in a truth that we cannot see.

As parents, we have an opportunity to nurture and guide that gift as an exercise to strengthen our children’s faith as they grow into adults.

Along the road to adulthood, they will learn what is real and not real, what is good and not good. Still, that same childhood ability to believe will allow them to accept a man they cannot see who died on the cross and rose from the dead three days later for a world that crucified him.

In the famous editorial written by Francis P. Church from the New York Sun to a little girl named Virginia, who asked, “Do you believe in Santa Claus?” Church wrote: “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the unseen and unseeable wonders in the world.

Another great author wrote in the Bible, “I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Just as we allow our children the freedom of their fantasies, we can introduce them to a real God that protects them and loves them by reading Bible stories and sharing our faith.

When our daughter was a child, her favorite story was Cinderella. She loved the glass slippers, the beautiful dress, and the pumpkin coach that carried Cinderella to the ball, but when it came time to choose a mate to share her life with, she prayed that God would help her meet a kind, honest person who would help her face life in the good times and the bad times. And God answered her prayer.

One by one, the make-believe characters she and her brothers played with as children have disappeared, and in their place, they have learned how to grasp the hand of faith.

It may be more grownup to say they are creating now, but I am glad they still have that white wall and palette of colors in their mind to change a room or their lives when needed.

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Deana Landers
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I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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