I’ve been thinking about this picture I took on Thursday of a little boy walking along the water at Railroad Park. He probably didn’t even notice his shadow or reflection, but I did. The first thought that popped into my mind was the poem My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson. My daughter memorized this in elementary school for a talent contest.
It starts like this –
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
Today we hear people talk about “shadowing” someone. It means to follow around someone who is in a career you are interested in. In this case, shadowing is a choice. But, when it comes to our physical shadow, we have no choice – it follows us no matter what. It may be in front of us or behind us and we can’t outsmart it. Most of the time, like the little boy, we aren’t even aware of it. And when we do notice it, we may see it doesn’t even look like us. It may be taller, or shorter, or wider than we really are. Our shadow is kind of like what people think of us. They may see our shy shadow and think we’re stuck-up; or our laughing shadow and not realize we are covering up our hurt.
You’ll find the word shadow many times in the Scriptures. Here are some of the most comforting –
Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. – Psalm 36:7
And most pointed –
Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow. – Psalm 144:4
The little boy also has a reflection in the water. Now, our reflection looks more like us, though the reflection in the water is kinder than the one in the mirror. I’ll REFLECT more on this in another post. 🙂