Shadows are God’s way of providing entertainment with no batteries required, no potential missing game pieces, and no rules to argue over. Just a game between you and the sun. Shadows are free, and you can take them wherever you go without even having to check them in with your luggage. But I suppose if they could, the airlines would charge an extra fee for them.
Long before Mattel and Disney existed, shadows were a source of entertainment. Adam and Eve must have been fascinated by these large black things that followed them everywhere. The first time Adam saw his shadow, did he jump out of his skin? Did he attack it with a stick or jump up and down on it? Since he and Eve did not have cable TV, maybe they were the first to amuse themselves with shadow puppets.
How else would Noah and his family have entertained themselves on the ark? One of Noah’s sons was named Ham, so he had to have been the ship’s cruise director.
HAM: Okay, time for Shadow Puppets! Now put two fingers up; that’s a bunny.
SHEM: But yesterday that was how you said to do a dog.
JAPETH: That’s how you’ve said to do every animal. They all look the same.
HAM: Um, well…time for lunch!
The average person can only do one or two animals for a shadow puppet. My advice is to choose an unfamiliar animal, and people will never know the difference. This is a rare species of emu. If you can give a Latin name, all the better.
I have four shadows. Three of them are much smaller than the other, and they seem to follow me wherever I go. Consequently, whenever I’m cooking, I elbow someone in the face. Whenever I back up, I step on someone. I have even sat on them.
My kids are living up to the words of Ruth, “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth was esteemed as a woman of noble character for staying by her mother-in-law’s side. I believe that my children are doing the noble and right thing by being my shadows. They are exactly where they need to be. Yes, my children are frequently in my way, but one day they will move on and I will yearn for the time when they were right under my feet.
Without shadows, how else would we understand God’s faithfulness? He describes Himself as the Father “who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). God always has a purpose behind everything, and he undoubtedly crammed some life lessons into the design of shadows.
I think we are supposed to be God’s shadows by staying near His light. Without the light of the sun, there is no shadow. Without the light of His Son, we would be swallowed by darkness. If we are truly being God’s shadows, we follow wherever He goes. We stay where He stays. And we always move with the Light, as faithful as a shadow.