Wednesday, August 06, 2008

From Head to Heart: Barrier #1 (Language)

More reflections from Robert McGee's book mentioned yesterday-

God overcomes the language barrier in the Scripture using metaphor and imagery. For example in Exodus 3 He teaches us about the word "Holy" by using a burning bush. This is what it means to be set apart by God for his purposes.

This is why the role of the imagination is so vital in the Christian life. Without imagination, we pass by the narratives of Scripture and of our world without much thought as we look for principles and propositions that will bring clarity to our confused world. Our greatest need is not clarity; it's relationship.

Metaphor gains access to our hearts through the back door, bypassing many of the obstacles that exist between the head and heart. This is often why movies and novels can stir us so deeply.

So, to undermine the barrier of language, I need disciplines that engage the imagination in this subversive work of the metaphoric. Guided imagery prayer is one example of this; disciplines of reading good novels (like Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia) and watching good movies that stir our hearts, paying attention to what is stirred in us so that we can be attentive to God in it.

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