Spiritual Practice

Looking Beyond Despair

Helmut Wagabi & Kate Underwood

The post-election violence I witnessed in Kenya a few years ago left me in such despair that I could no longer visualize the goodness of the Lord. I was almost convinced that God did not care, that the heartless ones could have their way.

Turning to scripture for comfort, I discovered the gift of sacred imagination that allowed me to look beyond despair. I realized that God is loving and continues to work for our good, even in the worst of times. Through the power of God’s word and some newly-created music aimed at reconciliation rather than revenge, those of us directly affected by the events in Kenya were able to come together, to seek and to offer forgiveness. We could begin to see once again the love and mercy of God at work in our lives and in our communities.

Sacred imagination sees God’s goodness in and beyond every human situation. Read Isaiah 55:6–13.

Imagination, springing from hearts transformed by the word of God, sees beauty in the midst of trouble. Faith is an act of imagination that encourages kindness, brings about healing, and ensures peace.

—Helmut Wagabi


PRACTICE SACRED IMAGINATION: God does abundant good through our suffering. God uses our joyful moments, sure; but God specializes in bringing beauty from ashes. God is the master of blessings in disguise. When you’re faced with a devastating situation and wonder if God still cares, practice imagining God’s plans. Trust that they are better than yours. With a little imagination, you can learn to rest in the goodness of God, no matter what is happening.

—Kate Underwood

—from devozine (January/February 2016). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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