Shine & Shadow: How to Stay in the Light without Throwing Shade

God-glimpses aren’t confined to churches, prayer or fasting. Sometimes (many times?) they can happen in the natural, every-day moments.

I biked with three of my littles one unnaturally warm winter day. The youngest sitting behind me piped up:  “Look, look!”

“What?” I said.  “Is it the playground? The car..?” Everyone started playing like I Spy, and finally someone caught it: “The shadow??” I pointed to his dark image floating behind us.


Cool, mom. The sun beamed and everyone started pointing out the shadows: trees, lampposts, cars, eachother… Because the sun was head on, the silhouettes were relatively behind us. Then I got hit:

If I face the sun I can’t see the shadows: not mine nor those of the people around me. (click to tweet)

How many of us are quick to point out (or ponder) faults in others? How many of us are breaking down on our own short comings? Who never felt, at least once in their life, overwhelmed by all the mess and pain in the world?

Once upon a time a Professor handed her students a white sheet of paper with a black dot in the center. “Describe what you see.” she requested. All the students wrote expositions on e.g., the precise coloring of the dot, it’s placement on the page, gradiation and linework. She collected the sheets and read them aloud. Then mused,

“But none of you described the paper?”

It can be so easy to focus on and get consumed by the negative–the what’s wrong with you, what’s wrong with me. But if we turn our face to the sun (…son), we immediately feel warmth, a glow, and for an instant, rest and hope. Sometimes it’s so bright you can only close your eyes–Everything will be OK.

The next time you’re tempted to take someone to task, throw shade, or even get down on yourself, remember the Sun. When my heart/spirit/mind is in the right direction, I can’t help but see the brightness and greatness in others.

“The son is the brightness/radiance of (God’s) glory, and express image of *His person/nature/being” (Hebrews 1:3, bible)

Other posts of interest:

Image Credits:

-Cover image: @JasNotes, Heart in Formation |
-Underwater still, taken from video: Best of Times?- Garden City Movement (video by Andrey Green)
-Shadows: Image 134172 from Tyson Dudley via unsplash
-“I am not afraid, I was born to do this” -Joan of Ark, image taken previously by @JasNotes from book at the Bieb–as soon as I re-identify, i’ll update this.
-Space image from NASA
-Rumi quote: sourced secondarily here

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