A childhood poem by Robert Louis Stevenson was oft quoted by my Mama.
“My Shadow” goes like this:
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from his heels up to his head And I see him jump before me when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward, you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to Nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning very early before the sun was up I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup. But my lazy little shadow like an errant sleepyhead Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
One December morning when I arose, there were no buttercups and it was not my shadow that struck me, but the contrasted beauty of shadows and light across the snow!
And I spied the vacant swing of summer, stirring in the cold wind, now ensconced with snow ~ saving a seat for its next occupant be it winged or footed.
Shadows have always intrigued me. Did anyone else grow up playing Shadow Tag late on steamy summer evenings? In the dark with just a street light or porch light to cast the shadows, it was easy to trip on some stone or root or impediment unseen. But the fun trumped the risk. With great peals of laughter and joy, the tagged became the tagger and on and on the game would go.
Now, shadows are more figurative than literal in my life … shadows of days gone by, shadows of things yet to come. I have waited in this Season when the Christ Child was incubating. I wait on Time. It is TIME that I crave in these long days of Winter! Time to spend with family, time to reflect on God’s Grace and Mercy, time to rest by the fire; time to love in the doing, time to prepare for a Newness Coming, time to give and time to receive! Even Time becomes shadowy as it moves in erratic intervals.
Shadows herald Change! The sun may be rising or setting. The light that creates shadow is always shifting. Shadows grow long or short. The direction in which a shadow lies is also fluid.
Link your fingers together with a strong light behind and you can create your own drama of shadow: first, a bunny, then a horse, then a looming ogre ready to devour. Haven’t we all marveled at our own power to make cute or ugly, inviting or repelling?
We love discovering the power embedded within us to sculpt with shadow play.
But there is ONE Who has NO SHADOW! For there is NO SHADOW of turning with Him!* HE ~ Jehovah God, Father of Saviour Jesus ~ never changes! HE is the SAME yesterday, today and FOREVER!** And HIS is the Ultimate POWER!
Regardless of the shadows that might be looming large in your life, His Light will dispel any darkness that threatens to over~shadow.*** As you reflect upon your own understanding of power, or the lack thereof, in this Season of Shadows and Light, may you experience Great Peace in knowing that you are covered by the Shadow of His Wings.**** May you know the Presence and Power of the One who is The Light!
* James 1:17
** Hebrews 13:8
*** John 1:5
**** Psalm 91:1; 17:8