This should have been called “Light and Shadow (with Various Visual References).” It’s been one of those weeks, where I see and hear a whole lot of things that all point to the same place. And when I went to publish this post, for the first time ever, WordPress deleted it. My changes? Gone. Makes me wonder why, ya know?
It started with a picture making the rounds on Facebook. Because of copyright laws and all, I can’t post it here, but I can point you to it. It’s a cartoon, but the way I originally saw it, the last panel was missing, and for a lot of us, it’s pretty profound. And maybe even true.
Then, this morning, I heard Third Day’s “Cry Out to Jesus.” It reminded me of going to see Third Day in Birmingham with my friends Kelly and Meredith, and how we all hugged our way through this song because Kelly still hurt so badly over the loss of her mother… and how Kelly just lost her husband, and I can’t imagine what she feels now. And I thought about another friend I mentioned last week, whose child–whose whole family–is under some of the most vicious attack I’ve seen.
This afternoon, it was this…
I was looking out the window at my front yard, and I saw the light and the shadow, maybe for the first time. The light part of the yard was so bright. And the shadow, while dark, wasn’t black.
Maybe that’s how it is. We walk along, and life is good. Then, suddenly, we find ourselves in the dark. Disaster hits us without warning. And life changes as abruptly as stepping from sun to shade. Life goes dark.
But the thing is, there’s still light in the dark, even though it doesn’t seem that way. As Christians, we never have to know what full dark looks like. We never have to experience anything without God. He will always, always be there. That midnight black comes at the second death, the one we never have to even glimpse, praise Jesus. Know what I love? That He is so much light that there is no darkness at all in Him (I John 1:5). It might be shaded, but it’s not dark.
Know what else? That shadow is dappled. There are peeks of sun in it. A phone call from a friend. That moment of peace in the storm. That moment when it suddenly feels like Jesus is close enough to touch, even in the middle of our shadow. He doesn’t let us wander around in the black without giving us hope, without enough of Him to keep us going. He’s there. And He shows Himself.
And one day, maybe after hours or days or months or even years, we blink and we’re in light again, the shadow a reminder of how amazing He is, of how He was always there.