I was recently enjoying a sunny day when I started thinking about the shadows I cast with my life. Every created person and thing in this world can cast a shadow. Just three ingredients are needed: a person or object, a source of light, and perspective.
I am the person in the ingredient list but there are also a lot of objects: tech devices like my phone and computer, my possessions, and my money. What kind of shadows am I and those objects casting? The second ingredient is light. Is it an artificial light that comes from the world, that can be turned off at the flip of a switch and is dependent on others to power it? At times that has been my light source. The shadows created have faded and haven’t been the most clearly cast shadows. I would rather have the eternal light of Christ shine on me to cast a shadow. This is a light that comes from no one but Jesus for whom all was created for from the beginning of time.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not an thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 ESV
He is the light of the world that I want to depend on. It can never be shut off or controlled. Now think about the third ingredient, perspective. Shadows change depth and size depending from what angle you’re looking. Technology, possessions, money, and other objects aren’t necessarily bad. When using the light of Christ to cast those shadows and keeping the right perspective, the effect can be powerful in bringing glory to God. More people have access to scripture today than ever before thanks to technology. With our possessions and money we can have a huge impact in this world for Christ. Think of the local and world outreach of which we can be a part. See? Good shadows. However we need to keep the right angle so that those object shadows are not greater than the shadow we as people cast for Christ. Nothing can have a greater impact on this world in Jesus’ name than us as human beings. Some days we need the Christ light behind us casting our shadow in front of us so we can see the impact. Other times He leads the way and His light casts our shadow behind us leaving an impact we may never know.
Shadows can also be made of nothing we would have expected. Think shadow puppets or those amazing entertainment groups that do shadow arts to music with groups of people. These examples remind me that the shadows of my life can be beautiful even when in the moment I feel they are not. Plus our shadow really isn’t us, is it? We were made in the image of God. So the shadow that gets cast is really Christ who lives in us through the Holy Spirit. We then get to rest in that shadow that is cast, to find refuge in our day-to-day struggles.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
“So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” Psalm 63:4-6
If Christ is always the source then all shadows created are beautiful with the right perspective.