I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, 'You are my people.'
It's an important part of how we see.
It provides depth perception.
It outlines form and shape.
It is an essential part of photography.
It is shadow.
And while we may seek to avoid dark places and long shadows, it is that disparity of gloom and light that allows us to see our way.
When I open my laptop in the morning and begin scanning the headlines of the news, I see so much shadow. It hangs in pessimistic pallor, gray mist fogging the horizon. Words in italic, words in bold, heralding the vagaries of a world gone mad. Disasters, blunders, spills and sorrows bleed across my high-resolution screen, casting shadow across the canvas of the day.
But at the edges of that shadow, my heart eyes can detect light. In the encouraging email from a friend, in the story of unselfish heroism, in the photograph of a wonder of creation wrapped in verdant green, light laps at the hem of the haze, startling in its comparison. And when the world's worst blankets the atmosphere, seemingly blocking all light, I can open the Word.
And lucent truth washes across the dark walls of current history.
Just as the Law was given to show us the contrast between God's perfection and our sin, so may be the purpose for us in the murky depths of this age. Because of our access to communication, we are more deeply aware of the heartache and horror in the world. Fonts of calamity scroll across the bottom of our television screens as we watch sitcoms. Video cameras capture cataclysm to show right before the sports report. It can either crush us or make us callous.
Unless we continue to search for the light.
A shadow is defined as a place where direct light is being blocked by an object. We too often reside in the shadow thrown by the enemy, where his antics look larger than the purpose of our Father. But there is a place of shadow where we can rest.
In the shadow of the Father's wing, under His hand. That place where the light of all He is surrounds us. That place where we find protection. That place where the brilliance of His holiness stands in contrast to the abyss of our need for grace.
In the shadow.
Either the shadow of the enemy trying to block truth.
Or the sanctuary of shadow that is cast by the richness of our Savior's glory.
The shadow of the enemy hissing loss.
Or the shadow of the Almighty proclaiming hope.
Darkness and light.