During one of my theology classes, my professor threw out an idea that I found intriguing. It was sort of his take on what happens in the atonement. Basically, his idea was that what becomes reconciled to God in the death and resurrection of Christ is our imagination. I'm probably not doing his thesis credit, but the idea stuck with me. It's my imagination that opens the door to all kinds of sin. It is my imagination that opens the door to all kinds of doubt and fear. It is my imagination that allows me to slip into despair and self loathing.
... and it is my lack of imagination that prevents me from hope. It is a lack of imagination properly utilized that keeps me from envisioning a world made whole. Or that I could be apart of the world being made whole.
I had one of those meetings last night. One of those meetings where everything is blowing up and we don't have the resources to fix them. One of those meetings that quickly turns into a cacophony of woe is me's. In those meetings, imagination becomes the crucible for all manner of potential disasters. What if this goes wrong? What if we can't fix this? What if we run out of that? The ability our imagination has to take us down some very dark roads is uncanny.
So what if the point or at least part of the point of the resurrection is to heal our imagination? Could those who Jesus' execution possibly have possibly imagined a world where he walked beside them again? Could those who thought that all hope was gone have ever conceived that what he had been telling them all along was going to happen right in front of their eyes?
The thing for me is that if I can allow myself to imagine the resurrection, then I can imagine far more. I can imagine broken political systems restored to a point where they truly serve those on the margins. I can imagine The world's hungry fed. The world's naked clothed. I can imagine age old wars brought to a peaceful end. The word "incurable" no longer has any meaning. I can imagine a world where the ecosystem is restored to some sense of balance. Where everyone takes only what they need.
I sometimes wonder if those of us who serve, particularly when we are among the poor and hurting of the world can imagine a world where our efforts are no longer needed. Do we even try to imagine such a thing or do we simply resign ourselves to "the poor you will have with you always"?
What if. What if things could be different? What if things could be better? What if things didn't have to be this way? What if... what if the dead could be raised to life? If that could happen, then anything could happen.