The light outside my window drew me outside again about a week ago. I grabbed my camera (of course) to capture some.
When I got outside, it was not only the light that touched my heart, but the lack of it, too. With the winter sun low in the sky at only about three in the afternoon, I noticed the long, long shadow that the barn across the road cast on the pasture.
As I turned back toward the house, I saw my own shadow. It was three or four times longer than my 5’3″ frame.
“People cast a long shadow,” I thought. I know two shadow metaphors. To “cast a shadow” can have a negative meaning. People who “cast shadows” aren’t at the top of most party lists. However, to “cast a long shadow” is quite different. It means that something or someone is very important in the long term. That importance can be for good or for ill, and whether it is for good or ill matters a great deal because those kinds of shadows last a long time.
I love the message of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The angel Clarence helps George to see just how long is the shadow his life has cast — and how positive that shadow is.
Think of the positive shadow Abraham and Sarah cast. In generation after generation, their descendants remembered them. Every day we prepare to be ancestors. Every day we cast shadows. The longer a day goes on, the longer the shadows become. Our life shadows are like that — the longer we live, the longer our shadow becomes.
I am convinced that one of the most effective ways to cast a long shadow for good is to make people feel important. Your daily work is the most vital work there is in the world. Happy shadow-making today!
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.