Casting a Shadow: Everyone is Doing It
It might have been spring fever that prompted my grandson to make the request to run down the dirt road ahead of me but it was the words of my father that prompted me to grant it.
My dad used to talk about experiencing spring fever when he was just a boy. “A good mother understands the antsiness of a young boy in the spring.” He would say with a glint in his eye. “Just itching to get outside in the sunshine and stretch their legs, run free like the wind and turn over every rock and investigate.”
I travel slowly behind this six year old boy as he joyfully treks with one shoe string flopping every time he raises his foot. The zipper on his jacket is loose from the bottom up and leaves about three inches of his dark blue shirt visible.
He walks scuffing his feet and watching the small rocks fly. He starts to move a little faster and begins to run with long relaxed strides. He then raises his toes and begins to run as fast as he can.
He comes to an abrupt stop and for an instant seems to be paralyzed. He has just noticed his shadow and it is twice as tall as he is.
He runs quickly and jumps then slows down as if in slow motion. And all the while he never loses sight of his shadow. He seems amused by this dark stop in the road that mimics his every move. He smiles. You know the smile I mean. It is big and broad showing all of his newly acquired front teeth.
The sweet memory of this day reminds me how we all cast a shadow. And I wonder if we are aware how far our shadow reaches the world around us. Are we sharing the light of Jesus by telling others of His goodness in our lives; or are we allowing a large dark shadow to to be cast in the wake of our presence. Are we leaving people broken and wounded.
As they watch us live out our faith are our actions leading people to Jesus or driving them away from Him. We can say whatever we want about our relationship with our Savior. But, our actions tell the true story of who we are in Christ.
So, lets remain mindful as we communicate with others. We should lift them up instead of tear them down. Even if we feel they deserve harsh words and actions, we must remember that God has shown us mercy and forgiveness. We are to do the same.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2 NKJV