In every scary movie ever produced we are reminded that danger resides in the shadows. Shadows move mysteriously as the light changes, providing a powerful allure. We take comfort in the light, but still we are curiously drawn to the shadows.
Shadows are grainy, indistinct, and distorted versions of reality. They provide an image, but an incomplete one. When we see only the shadow, we cannot make a definitive identification of the one casting the shadow. There may be certain things which give us an idea of who it is, such as a mo-hawk hair style or an artificial limb, but the shadows only provide an outline, and a stretched one at that. The necessary details are lost in the darkness.
Perhaps it’s this lack of detail that attracts us. Maybe, in some part of our being, we long for a life where things aren’t always cut and dried. The world keeps telling us over and over, always with more volume and intensity, that there are no absolutes, and that life just doesn’t fit nicely into the little boxes to which we have grown so accustomed.
Maybe the world is right. Life doesn’t fit our little boxes, simply because they are our little boxes. In all of our imperfections we still presume to know best, preferring to categorize everything and everyone, the haves and the have-nots, the blacks, whites and every other skin color. The sinners and the saints…. Everyone wants to be accepted as they are, so the world has blurred the lines that God put in place, His absolutes. It has chosen to look at everything with its back turned to the Son. It has chosen to see only the shadows, at least until absolutes become convenient.
Really, the Church is to blame in a lot of respects. Somewhere between the cross and Christianity being a defined religion we lost our passion for the lost. And it has only gotten worse. When we stopped seeing ourselves, our pasts and our own sinful tendencies, as daily in need of a Savior, we started perpetuating an “us and them” mindset. Having been saved from our Sin and justified through the blood of Jesus, we lost sight of who and where we would be without Him.
The Church has stood high and mighty for so long, creating distance between the sinners and the saints, as well as between this denomination and that. We have been quick to identify and judge differences, and in so doing we have isolated ourselves and alienated a world that is no worse off than we were before we found Christ. In bringing up the contrast, we have made the shadows stand out. Rather than bringing the light of Jesus to the darkness, and clarity to the predicament of mankind, we have spent our precious time and energy pointing out the shadows, and, in a sense, glorifying the darkness.
We were called to be light to a darkened world. In the presence of light darkness cannot exist. We are not called to judge people, but rather to love them to Christ. Remember from what depths you were rescued. And as you remember, consider the obstacles that stood between you and Jesus. Determine to be a light for Him… Dispelling shadows.
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