November 3, 2013

Dinosaurs, Some Bears and Shadows



She says she’s scared of three things: “dinosaurs, some bears, and shadows.”

She’s two and three-quarters, going on five.

I know she isn’t talking about the shadows that come this time of year when the arc of the sun causes their dark presence to fall out in front of us as we come up the driveway from getting the mail.

A couple of weeks ago, the three of us caught our shadows in the late afternoon. They became our dancing partners, six girls dancing---Naomi, her baby sister, Olivia, on my hip, and our three shadows.


Naomi isn’t afraid of the shadows that look like her, only taller with longer arms and legs. She’s afraid of the shadows that creep in from the tree branches outside her window. Shadows crawl onto her bedroom floor in the afternoons when she curls up under her covers for a nap. They sneak back at night when the streetlights send them her way after prayers are said and the lights go out. Scary shadows.

When the curly-lock beauty encounters a room mostly dark, where only the silhouettes of the room’s contents can be seen from light over her shoulder, she hesitates. The shadowy room is a menacing place. The room morphs into one big monster shadow.

Shadows are unpredictable. They aren’t vulnerable. They shift when we move. We don’t trust them. We reach for what seems real, look for our way among the shadows, but our hand pushes through and we become unbalanced, especially the night shadows.

Faith lives in shadows. The Light shines from behind us. We only see the teasers, the dim shape of the greater realities. We live in the “shadowland.” We have to remember what we saw in the light and remember what was in the light, remains the same in the dark.

There are times when life turns from light to dark, from seeing to blindness, with a flip a switch. Light or dark, the Lord never changes. He is the God who Sees.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
My father’s life is about to change. I suppose the truth is it already has. And I don’t believe he will be the same when we get through this time in the shadows. I expect his perspective on life will be different. How could it not?

When God gave me Psalm 91 as my healing psalm when I suffered through a major clinical depression, I embraced the Shadow of God’s Wings, found comfort and peace, love, underneath the Shelter.

Tonight I make my bed next to my Daddy. The NFL plays on the television while he snores sweetly. (I am sure later, I will feel different about the sweet part.) He’s stronger as we wait for the plan, the plan that will bring hope. Tonight I am thinking of the Shadow, remembering he is covered.

We won’t fear the terrors of night or the pestilence that waits in the darkness. We will battle germs, and viruses, try to hold them at bay in the days to come. We will let the medicine bring us to our knees, and then be lifted at the hand of an angel.

At least Dad will. 

I am thinking all of us who love him might need an angel's hand too. We’ve never walked this way before.

I sit on the green couch in the picture window. I gaze past the zoo where the bears roam their cages near the football stadium and the golf course. The sun is sliding down behind the foothills of the Ouachita's brushing the sky pastel.

The shadows are disappearing with the sun. It’s early to bed since the clock fell back last night. Every day is a gift and we are thankful.

Dad and I are steering clear of “dinosaurs and some bears.” And we lying down to sleep in the Shadow of the Almighty.

Dad gets his treatment plan soon. He is ready to fight and regaining strength after a difficult couple of weeks.

And I am taking all of this living in the "shadowland" a moment at a time, because that is all I know to do... 

Linking today with Laura at The Wellspring: Playdates with God


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