Dear “Real” Christian Man,
In reading some of the reviews of “Imagine“, I found both accolades and criticisms. Most of the criticisms were aimed at the lyrical content of the song, pointing out potential hypocrisies, contradictions and a lack of concrete solutions for the problems chronicled in the track. I don’t think it was Lennon’s intent to offer solutions. He invites the listener to simply dream of a world absent the woes and conflict which often frame our existence. I’m reminded of a quote (which has been attributed to Maya Angelou, and even appears on a US Postal Stamp, but most likely first appeared in “A Cup Of Sun” by Joan Walsh Anglund) which states “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song”. As a songwriter, I can absolutely relate to this quote. Not every song solves a problem and many, in fact, raise questions. I think that’s the case with Lennon’s hit; it really just asks the question “what if?”. It’s the song he had to sing at that moment in time.
I, personally, can’t imagine there is no heaven. I lived that way for many years and it brought destruction. I know now that God is real, and I know the moment after He causes or allows my death to occur, I’ll be standing before Him in, what we refer to as, Heaven. Can I prove it? Not in the scientific sense. However, evidence abounds in my life, in my heart and in my soul. I feel the presence of it just as strongly as I felt the weight of the bondage I once lived in. But, enough about me – this is about John’s song! Regardless of my beliefs, I have certainly pondered the question of heaven’s existence, and many times imagined both its absence and its actuality. I think that’s all John was suggesting we do; consider things for ourselves.
What strikes me most about Lennon are two things. First, we truly do not know the time or day of our last breath here on Earth. Second, accepting that the first statement is true, we only have the present moment available to us, so shouldn’t it be spent doing that which we were created to do? Lennon spent at least some of those moments doing exactly that, and the world is a richer place as a result. He was a bird with many songs to sing, and while we don’t know what songs would have been sung in the years since his death, we can be grateful for the ones he shared while he was here and the creative legacy he left behind.
I hope you feel a little challenged to consider how you spend your moments. Not sure what you were created to do? Ask God. He knows.