They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” – John 12:21.
Simon & Garfunkel sang a song with a rather scathing lyric. It was all about “My Little Town”, and it laments that all that can be seen by the local townsfolk when they look at a rainbow is black:
And after it rains there’s a rainbow, and all of the colors are black.
It’s not that the colors aren’t there. It’s just imagination they lack
Everything’s the same back in my little town
Philosophers discuss and debate the definition of “real”. Is what you see “real”, or is it just the way you see it? Does red look the same for everyone? (And what about those of us who are color blind!)
Listening to S & G sing “My Little Town”, we are left to wonder if the problem is the town, or the singer? The song is sparse in length, but deep in meaning. Both the lyrics and the melody suggest to us a sameness to life that can become deadly. Factories that pollute the air; laundry drying “in the dirty breeze”. Is this mundane sameness part of the routine that enables dad to work at the factory and mom to stay home and clean? Is this what it means to “provide for the family” back in the day?
With a little more imagination, might the singer have found something worthwhile, maybe even beautiful with regard to his town and its inhabitants? Is he the victim of his own critique?
If things seem to be bland where you are today, perhaps you are seeing it correctly … or maybe things would look better if you could employ a little more imagination. Jesus was a master story-teller. He employed his own imagination such that he created powerful images for others – images that convicted them, comforted them, empowered them. Even when it seemed to everyone else that there was “nothing but the dead and dying …”, Jesus saw life and healing.
May what Jesus sees be what we see today. It can happen – it might require some imagination on our part, but it can happen.
Simon & Garfunkel – My Little Town