The lights were flashing and spinning. The music was loud and the musicians were jumping all around the stage. It was a marvelous concert, but I kept getting distracted by the shadows. With the spinning lights, the shadows kept moving in every direction. Some were way bigger than the person they represented while others were a lot smaller. Some of the shadows took on a skewed shape due to corners or curves in the room, while some just disappeared.
I started thinking about making shadow puppets on the wall when I was a kid. Then I thought about trips to the beach and all the shapes our shadows used to take. Then I remembered how nice it was to take shelter in the shadow of a tall person or a big tree on a hot day, just to hide from the blistering heat of the sun.
Shadows can take on all sizes and shapes, but the one common bond between them all is that in order for there to be a shadow, there has to be light. I cannot stay hidden in the dark corners of life and still have a shadow; I have to be out and about, in the light, or it won’t work.
Each new day, we need to think about whether we are living in the darkness or living in the light. If we are in the light, we will leave a shadow wherever we walk. Sometimes it will be smaller than it ought to be, and in those moments, maybe we are struggling with self-doubt or rejection. At other times, our shadows may seem larger than life. In those seasons we need to be aware of pride and arrogance rising up in our lives. Maybe our shadow is dancing all over the place and we are overwhelmed with the chaos and worries of this world. There might even be dark days when our shadow simply disappears because we are not letting any light into our lives. But then there are days, those divine appointments, when our shadow is exactly the right size for someone who needs to hide from the blistering heat of life. We cross paths at the perfect moment and our shadow can offer friendship, healing and hope. On those days, we can point those shadow-dwellers to the source of our light and we can confidently know that our shadows really do make a difference.
How is your shadow? Is it too small or too big? Is it dim or gone? Or is it exactly the right size to offer hope to someone in need? Let your shadow offer hope. A well-placed shadow can make a world of difference.