Biblical imagination

/ 3 August 2004

We talk a lot at Luther about supporting a “biblical imagination” — but rarely do I see it practiced. Mary Hinkle has a great example in her PilgrimPreaching weblog, where she imagines a more fullsome rendering of the meeting of Jesus and the Canaanite woman who pleads for her daughter:

Did you teach the Teacher? Yes, I'm sure you did. Because of you and your fierce need, Jesus himself came to see his life’s work bigger than before. What he had not thought to look for in anyone like you, he saw: faith. He saw your tenacious conviction that he could help, and amazed, he did.

I have thought that fear makes it impossible to imagine things. "Perfect fear casts out all imagination," I have thought. But you were afraid—you must have been afraid of the demon and of your daughter’s suffering—you could be afraid and see a new thing—healing—at the same time. You saw it and you showed it to Jesus and the rest of us.