On Imagination and Inspiration

Paintings in progress in an artist's studio

Embracing our spiritual imagination to unlock creative inspiration.



Imagination invites us to move beyond what we can see, welcoming us into a kind of spiritual awe that primes our souls for a posture of deep creation.

When we set aside our inner editor and give ourselves space to explore new ideas—to wander our way into wonder—we're no longer conformed to the ways of the world, but we are transformed by the creative renewal of our minds.

In Romans 12:2, we’re reminded that the utilitarian systems and social structures don’t necessarily reflect the mystery and beauty of a New Creation God.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Allowing ourselves to enter into a space of contemplation and imagination can be difficult. As children, we’re often told to stop daydreaming. But if we steel ourselves from the ordinary beauty that stokes our imaginations—like getting lost in the brilliant hues of a sunset or the symphony of a loved one’s laughter—we also steel ourselves against what we could create if we could just allow ourselves to embrace our imagination.

In Atlas of The Heart, Brene Brown says that in her work as a sociologist, she has come to see that “Awe and wonder are essential to the human experience. Wonder fuels our passion for exploration and learning, for curiosity and adventure.”

At the heart of those of us who create is a desire to be inspired by what is to dream of what could be. To be so enraptured in our awe and wonder of God’s creation that we might make something new to inspire another, spurring one another on toward love and good work (see Hebrews 10:24).

When we imagine, we let ourselves get lost in possibility and potential. We’re no longer shackled to voices that say it can’t—or shouldn’t—be done. And just as much as we can be inspired by beauty, the aches and sorrows of this world can propel us into imagination so that we might create something better. Our Christian imagination points us to streams of mercy and justice that rolls like a river (Amos 5:24).

As humans, it’s in our DNA to imagine. In Genesis 1:27, we see that we were created in the image of a God who embraced imagination, painting entire galaxies in one stroke and sculpting humans out of dust in one breath. If we embody Imago Dei, then it’s not overly indulgent to embrace imagination as Christian creators. We imagine because we are created in the image of an imaginative, creative God.

In Art + Faith, Mako Fujimura posits that our “problem is not that we do not have an extravagant virtual culture; the problem is that we do not believe in an extravagant God.”

When we imagine, we allow ourselves to be embraced by extravagant God who opens His arms and beckons us to be co-creators with Him.

When we imagine, we enter a place where we can envision the mystery and the material merging together to form something new.

And that’s a beautiful place to be.



Words: Kayla Craig

Photography: Laura Adai, Martin de Arriba

Paintings in progress in an artist's studio
Tubes of paint on a tabletop
Cups filled with various paint brushes
Layered hanging canvases

Embracing our spiritual imagination to unlock creative inspiration.



Imagination invites us to move beyond what we can see, welcoming us into a kind of spiritual awe that primes our souls for a posture of deep creation.

When we set aside our inner editor and give ourselves space to explore new ideas—to wander our way into wonder—we're no longer conformed to the ways of the world, but we are transformed by the creative renewal of our minds.

In Romans 12:2, we’re reminded that the utilitarian systems and social structures don’t necessarily reflect the mystery and beauty of a New Creation God.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Allowing ourselves to enter into a space of contemplation and imagination can be difficult. As children, we’re often told to stop daydreaming. But if we steel ourselves from the ordinary beauty that stokes our imaginations—like getting lost in the brilliant hues of a sunset or the symphony of a loved one’s laughter—we also steel ourselves against what we could create if we could just allow ourselves to embrace our imagination.

In Atlas of The Heart, Brene Brown says that in her work as a sociologist, she has come to see that “Awe and wonder are essential to the human experience. Wonder fuels our passion for exploration and learning, for curiosity and adventure.”

At the heart of those of us who create is a desire to be inspired by what is to dream of what could be. To be so enraptured in our awe and wonder of God’s creation that we might make something new to inspire another, spurring one another on toward love and good work (see Hebrews 10:24).

When we imagine, we let ourselves get lost in possibility and potential. We’re no longer shackled to voices that say it can’t—or shouldn’t—be done. And just as much as we can be inspired by beauty, the aches and sorrows of this world can propel us into imagination so that we might create something better. Our Christian imagination points us to streams of mercy and justice that rolls like a river (Amos 5:24).

As humans, it’s in our DNA to imagine. In Genesis 1:27, we see that we were created in the image of a God who embraced imagination, painting entire galaxies in one stroke and sculpting humans out of dust in one breath. If we embody Imago Dei, then it’s not overly indulgent to embrace imagination as Christian creators. We imagine because we are created in the image of an imaginative, creative God.

In Art + Faith, Mako Fujimura posits that our “problem is not that we do not have an extravagant virtual culture; the problem is that we do not believe in an extravagant God.”

When we imagine, we allow ourselves to be embraced by extravagant God who opens His arms and beckons us to be co-creators with Him.

When we imagine, we enter a place where we can envision the mystery and the material merging together to form something new.

And that’s a beautiful place to be.



Words: Kayla Craig

Photography: Laura Adai, Martin de Arriba

Tubes of paint on a tabletop

Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Adaobi Ugoagu Is On A Mission

We talk with fashion blogger/model Adaobi Ugoagu about the intersection of fashion, art and justice.


Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Adaobi Ugoagu Is On A Mission

We talk with fashion blogger/model Adaobi Ugoagu about the intersection of fashion, art and justice.