A Christmas Story

Use an imaginative story as a prayer tool to connect with Jesus

A few weeks ago I lead my organization in a unique spiritual practice to help us enter into this season of advent. Preparing our hearts for Jesus. This is a story that I wrote. The idea is for you to read it prayerfully and imagine that you, yourself are in the story. As you read the text try to use all your senses as you imagine yourself in this story. At the end of the story I will leave a few questions for you to think about, feel free to journal or what ever you do to help process and pray. Try to read the story prayerfully, slowly and mindfully. I pray that this exercises ministers to you in a unique way.

Begin by slowing down your breath so that you can quiet your mind and body. King of kings, Lord of lords help us to connect to You today as we enter into a time of imaginative prayer. May we come to understand more and more what Your hope and peace and joy and love mean to us and to the world around us today and everyday through advent and beyond. Help us to prepare a way for You to enter into our hearts again in this moment. Thank you for your gift of creativity and imagination that we can use to get to know you more.

Today is just like any other day for you. Except for this evening you have been invited to a Christmas Party. You haven’t been to a party for a while and are a bit nervous. You ask your loved one to help you pick out what to wear.  You have gotten dressed, you’ve had a snack and you brushed your teeth. You are ready to go. You grab your white cane and head out the door. As you are walking to the Christmas Party you are aware of the busy-ness of the holiday festivities happening all throughout the city. What sounds do you hear as you are walking outside? What can you smell? Are you warm or cold?  

You are having to walk a bit slower, paying attention to all of the sounds to help guide you through the neighborhood. 

You turn the corner and notice you are on a quieter street, thankful for the peacefulness you smile to yourself. But then just a few seconds later you hear a child whisper to their mother “look at that person’s eyes…” You hear the mother try to quiet her child but just a few seconds later you hear again the child giggle and say “and what is that stick for.” You’ve heard it all before and normally it doesn’t bother you this much, but because you are already feeling vulnerable by the idea of heading to this party, these words sting. 

As you turn the next corner you try to shake off this feeling of shame and you put on a smiling face as you reach your destination. 

You take the elevator up to your friends apartment and immediately your senses go wild. The apartment is so much warmer than it was outside, especially with all the people. You instantly smell christmas cookies mixed with the smell of mulled wine and a christmas tree. And of course you can hear Frank Sinatra singing Jingle Bells quietly in the background. You find a comfortable seat on the couch and your friend brings you a plate of cheese and crackers and mug of mulled wine. Your friend sits with you for a while and introduces you to a few of his friends but as the host, he gets up to make the rounds. 

As you sit there eating and drinking and listening to the people around you, time passes by and you start to realize how alone you feel. ‘Is this all there is’ you ask yourself. Another Christmas party where I just don’t belong. 

You decide to give it 5 more minutes and then you will just make up an excuse to leave. 

Right as you are about to get up, someone  sits next you and immediately wishes you a Merry Christmas. This man’s voice felt so calming to your ears. And although you have heard those two words now for a couple of weeks from many people, this was the first time you felt someone genuinely mean it. It felt like such a gift. 

You nearly spit out mulled wine when you hear the next thing he says to you is “Would you like to see?” 

‘Is this man mocking me?’ you immediately think.

But then He reaches his hands out to you and whispers to you. 

“You have been made new.” 

As he takes his warm hands off of your eyes, all you can see at first is light. But then as you blink a few times things start to come into focus. What do you see as you  look around the room? 

As you look around the room you realize that what you thought before, when you couldn’t see was how you were missing out now you can truly see these people with their masks of christmas cheer. 

They are the ones missing something, they are the ones blind.

You turn to look at the man who had healed you and there he is sitting next to you with a big smile on his face. 

Pure joy. 

You can’t take your eyes off of him. He is warm, gentle, peaceful and so much more you can’t quite put it to words.

He reaches out his hands again this time cupping your face in his big hands and he says your name over and over again.

How does this feel being in His hands hearing him call your name? 

 As tears of joy run down his face he says “You are my beloved.”

He stands up 

Reaches out his hands 

And says 

Come, follow me. 

Reflection Questions: 

  1. What/How do you need to be made new today? What do you need healing from? 
  2. In this imaginative prayer once you are able to see, you see that people are missing something? How can you be present during this season so that you don’t miss out on Jesus? 
  3. Who in your life might feel like they don’t fit in? How can you be like Jesus in their lives? 
  4. What is Jesus inviting you into this month?

I hope this imaginative story helped connect you to Jesus in a unique and special way. I also wanted to say a disclaimer, although I hope this is obvious to you. I under know circumstance thing that being blind is something to be ashamed of or is something that needed healing from. There are many different abilities that although may make like challenging in unique ways doesn’t make a person less than other or make a person in more need than others. This story is simply meant to help us reflect on our own internal blindness and we might need healing within.

Merry Christmas everyone! May God bless and keep you and may He shine His face upon you.

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