The moon is blue. Super blue.
Yes, there are scientific reasons for the terminology. You may seek them out for yourself. For tonight, I am just happy to sit on a stump and watch the shadows.
I watched the moon for a while, beautiful thing that it is, but as it approached its zenith, my neck objected, so I bent down to relieve the tension. That’s when I noticed the shadows.
The world is awash in shadows. At midnight.
The old mulberry tree, its spindly limbs bereft of leaves, stretches bony fingers this way and that across the cold sleeping grass. There’s a ghost story waiting to be told there, were the world not so brilliant in the moon’s glare.
I glance at the two Labrador retrievers cavorting nearby, and can’t help noticing their shadows mirroring their every leap and crouch.
Shadows in the moonlight. Creator’s handwork.
Basking in the beauty of the late night, I smile. For a moment.
Then I feel it.
I knew I would. There is a high-pitched whistle as I breathe in. And out. I struggle a bit to hold down the cough that is inevitable.
Time to go in. I bid goodnight to the dogs, with a warning for them to behave themselves until morning, and I head indoors. Indoors, where it’s warm.
I bring my shadows with me. Shadows of resentment. Shadows of doubt.
Shadows of negativity.
Wait. That’s a bit redundant, isn’t it? A shadow is already a negative, of sorts. If the object is the real thing—the positive, the shadow must be its negative. The un-thing, one might say.
So, here I sit, my un-thing weighing on my chest, and I watch the two dogs still cavorting outside—two black shadows dancing with their black shadows.
Not a care in the world.
I watch them and I am envious. Nighttime is the worst when bronchitis hits. The asthmatic aspect makes it difficult to breathe; the cough that follows makes it nearly impossible to sleep.
Do you feel sorry for me yet? You shouldn’t. I have come to realize that some shadows are darker than others.
Just tonight I read the words of a new friend, one I’ll probably never meet in the flesh, who is in his sixth year of suffering with cancer. His lungs and other organs are full of tumors, some even visible through his skin. Four surgeries, multiple courses of chemo, and still the shadows persist.
He sits in his chair, receiving the infusion of chemicals which will bring waves of nausea and pain, along with rashes, and he prays for those sitting in chairs around him.
He prays. For them.
I breathe as deeply as I dare, trying to keep from coughing and waking the Lovely Lady, but my mind is already on another friend who has a constant shadow, as well. Her lungs are working at a fraction of their capacity, the only cure, a transplant.
She’s not a candidate for a transplant. And yet, her cheerful encouragement comes as an almost daily occurrence—to friends, to strangers—she points out the bright spots rather than the shadows.
If we walk in light (as He is in light), we walk in community with each other, and in fellowship of His saving grace. (1 John 1:7)
We walk this road with heroes. Heroes of faith who show us the light rather than point out the shadows.
When we are in light, there will invariably be a shadow. But, you knew that already, didn’t you?
The shadow is strongest in the brightest light. Sunlight—moonlight—streetlight—you name it.
We can focus on the un-thing, the shadow, that comes from walking in His light, or we can keep our eyes on the things that are.
Life. Love. Heaven.
Things that are.
The Apostle (my namesake) was adamant when he spoke of it. The temporary things we are suffering here are nothing (un-things) compared to the glory we shall one day know. (Romans 8:18)
Some, like my bronchitis, are more temporary than any of them, likely to disappear within days. Others may last a lifetime. Or, they may claim that life even. It’s still true.
The shadow is not the real thing. It never will be the real thing.
Breathe easy. The day will come when the shadows will flee forever, the light in our eternal home, our God, Himself.
No more tears.
No more shadows.
Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe
And to love you.
All I need is the air that I breathe.
(from The Air That I Breathe ~ Albert Hammond)
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
(Psalm 23:4 ~ NIV ~ Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.