December 6, 2021
When I saw the Tree of Contemplative Practices and realized how many and varied these prayer practices were, I had difficulty even grasping that idea! Oh, the height and depth and length and breadth of the practices! The multitude of variety, too!
Another way of saying it is. these many different ways of contemplation just blow my mind.
Visualization is today’s variety of prayer. When Tilden Edwards mentioned visualization in his remarkable book Living in the Presence, I realized this was yet another way to use my imagination. (Yes, I do have an active imagination!) Edwards started his explanation with mentioning the powerful symbol of light, God’s radiant, loving truth. Yes, the Bible does mention the different physical manifestations of God’s glory! I chose the verses “God is light” (1 John 1:5) and “walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8). 
So, I tied my imagining cap on as I prayed in this way again, just now. I sat in a comfortable position, and closed my eyes. Almost immediately, I was aware of the soft light behind my eyelids. Persistent light, but soft! Gentle. Godly. That light surrounded me, and yet bathed me in a loving, gentle way.
What do you think God’s light would be like? Would it be the same every time? (I don’t think so. I have not experienced it that way, myself.) Personally, I do not think God would be so static, so predictable. That is the way it is, with our Lord. He is surprising. Loving and caring, and just and true.
This is one of the few exercises or prayer practices where I usually do not receive a word-y response. Does God talk to you? How would it be if Jesus quietly surrounded you with His presence? Discouragement, despair, bewilderment – gone. Except, I am filled, I am bathed in the light of God. Amen! Thank You, Lord Jesus.
Dear Lord, even now, when I close my eyes, I can still see a hint of Your light, Your brightness. Thank You for this experience. Thank You for the gift of an active imagination. I haven’t thought about my imagining in such a way, not for a very long time! What a sweet, gentle experience. I needed that, right now. Thank You. Thank You. Amen, dear Lord. Amen.
Thanks to the website www.contemplativemind.org for their excellent image the Tree of Contemplative Practices.
 Edwards, Tilden, Living in the Presence (Harper Collins: San Francisco, 1995), 53.