Imaginative Prayer: Lunch with Christ

autumn soupAs a child I felt God’s presence strongly. I remember digging in my sandbox with Jesus or reading a picture book with him. It seemed every good thing was a delight God had left just for me to discover. I felt assured of God’s love as I felt his presence close.

Now, as an adult, the world’s volume is much louder than it was for me as a child. It has become more difficult to find Christ’s voice in the clamor. When the world spins around me and I feel myself unsteady, I put away the smartphone and the earbuds, and I imagine Christ’s presence with me as I move through the day.

Today we go out to lunch.We walk to the café together, and I imagine Jesus there beside me, just as I remembered in the sandbox so long ago. He notices the construction workers breaking up the concrete with their jackhammers. He knows them well, knows their lives at home, the way the tall one always plays rock-paper-scissors with his son when he comes home at night. The two of them play till one of them hits five wins. He loves them. I smile as one of the workers halts traffic for me to pass.

As we move past the construction, into the quieter part of my neighborhood, Jesus notices the leaves turning color. He picks up a leaf in the most brilliant of reds and hands it to me. “I know you love autumn. I love to watch you delight in it each year.” I take the leaf and press it into the journal I’m carrying.

At the café he talks to the waitress. She lights up in a way I’ve never seen her before. She tells us a story about how both she and her mother learned English when they moved to the States through watching Sesame Street. She shares this story as a gift. I know this is because she feels seen, loved in a small connection between strangers.

Our lunch arrives. It’s coconut carrot soup with crusty fresh bread. I haven’t tried it before. When I lean in to try it, Christ holds the spoon, blowing it gently, like a grandmother offering me a taste from the pot she cooked especially for me. It’s delicious, like autumn itself. I am reminded how much I feel love through food as I dip the bread to soak in the soup.

As Jesus walks me back home, I notice everything. Squirrels chase each other up and down the trees. An elderly neighbor is getting his hair cut by a family member on his porch. A toddler makes piles of leaves in her yard while her mother watches, laughing. The welcome beams of sunshine shine down on me. I rest in the light, like a cat sunning itself.

I know that by offering up this time as a prayer, I’ve seen the world through his eyes. I’ve seen the beauty swirling around me, and as the breeze passes over me, I know I am loved.

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash.

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Shemaiah Gonzalez
Shemaiah Gonzalez is a freelance writer who holds a B.A. in English Literature and a M.A. in Intercultural Ministry. She thrives on moments where storytelling, art, and faith collide. Published on Busted Halo and America Magazine among others, she is obsessed with being well-rounded as she jumps from Victorian lit to Kendrick Lamar, from the homeless shelter to the cocktail party. A Los Angeles native, she now lives in Seattle with her husband and their two sons.


  1. Oh my goodness! This is absolutely beautiful. I love to see Jesus helping me put out our Advent wreath, the Christmas decorations. This is what life should be-seeing Jesus walking beside you, laughing or giving you a wary glance when you do or say something that you shouldn’t have.
    Thank you so much!

  2. The best. Your story affirms mine. Jesus drives the car for me, shops with me and even rocks me to let me know HE is with me. I journal his words to me. His manner of speaking to you is the same. Thank you for sharing. You are a gifted storyteller and writer.

  3. Shemaiah, what a delightful sharing and one I relate to well…….I love to walk and talk to Jesus and have often not been aware of how “playful” such moments are…….but, indeed they are moments of connection with our loving and joyful God and moments of deep closeness for both Jesus and myself…….thank you for your lovely reflection


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