“To be truly visionary we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond that reality.” – bell hooks (Feminism Is for Everybody)
I have learned much about the ethic of love and imagining this love embodied in some new ways thanks in great part to the writings of bell hooks, an ancestor too soon. Ashé.
Imagination – while not listed as a fruit of the Spirit – is vital to our ability to nurture, cultivate, and make space for the spirit to do its work.
We have to be willing to not only wish for a better world, a more just and loving society. We have to imagine that it is indeed possible. We must be able to know in our flesh and in our hearts that it is not only possible but probable.
Imagination gives us the wherewithal to begin to conjure up, call out, create, and live into the beloved community – even while it is not yet fully present. To live into our prayer of “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Imagination allows us to see beyond our current circumstance, condition, and context. Imagination makes space for us to create, re-create, and co-create. Imagination helps us to not give up when everything around us is cursing God, our communities, and all of creation.
Imagination caused God to become flesh and model for us what it means to love fiercely and fully.
Imagination gave bell hooks words and the courage to speak them and to write them so that Black women and Black folx might experience and share and pass on a love that is liberative.
Thank you, God, for imagining us and creating us from a place of love. May we continue to pass on this miracle from generation to generation, in honor of our ancestors and in gratitude for the wonder of all of creation. Ashé and Selah.
Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.