Though I prefer to talk about light, the reality is shadows can be very informative, in window cleaning as well as in life. As I think about this concept the applications to life seem plentiful. One of the first thoughts that comes to mind is a common phrase that my daughter likes to use. When someone brings up something negative about someone else she says they're "casting shade". Drawing attention to some stain or "smudge" in their character, which can affect the person's reputation. We all have our "smudges", and we do our best to hide them, to show our better sides. The reality is when we are in the light of day and folks get a good look at us, they always seem to show up...people see the shadows they create in our lives.
In scripture these marks which cast shadows over our lives are called "sin"...areas in our lives where we have strayed from the path Jesus shows us, the path God made us to walk in and reveals to us as we read his Word. These verses come to mind:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky (Philipians 2:14-15)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.(James 1:17)
In Genesis the bible says we were made in God's image...we are supposed to resemble him. We are to shine like stars in the night sky, our light reminding people of the light of God, his purity, his truth. When we sin we tarnish our ability to give off His light, there is a shadow. The shadow is due to our change from the standard he has set, and made us to reveal. The signs are fairly obvious - outbursts of anger, disrespect towards others, selfish behavior, a weak moral compass, a lack of love and understanding towards others.
No one likes these shadows to be revealed in their lives, but when they are revealed, we are forced to admit something is missing. There is a foreign substance affecting our ability to reflect God's light, and we need to get it cleansed. Thankfully, our God is all about cleansing, and as we draw near him his light will reveal the source of the shadow in our lives. Because of Jesus, we know he will cleanse whatever is blocking his light.
Do you sense an area of shadow in your life? Have others made comments that have made you wonder if you are "off" in your walk with God? How can you bring that before God this week?