Wednesday, 9 September 2015

What your shadow teaches you about God's perfect light

I don't like people in my personal space, its a pet peeve.

I claim an arms length - 360°. Stand outside that circle - please; unless I invite you in. 

That's rare.

I smile a lot, a lot- that's not an invitation. I laugh even more- again, not an 

invitation. I'm sociable, approachable, an extroverted introvert - not 

invitations to come into my circle.

I guard my 360°.

I'm not big on hugging.

My family knows, my friends know. My kids, well, they know but they don't really care about my 360° of separation. They get to come in. They are the exception to my stupidity. 

Before I even had kids, I started going to a church that hugged. A lot. Hugs were new every Sunday morning. I groaned in anticipation and did the Christian boy dates Christian girl kinna hug...what's that you ask? Well, its that hug where you're so far apart that a train could pass through. You pat each other on the back and smile- toothless. 

Yes, that's how I greeted somebody in Jesus' name. It went on for years, I improved a tad, sometimes, the space could only accommodate a bicycle and the pats on the back became rubs- I tried- it was the best I could do.

I'm not a fan of happy morning people. I roll my eyes at their gleefulness.

I wasn't a big fan of hugging in relationships either, and public displays of affection? Nope, not me. I am that girl that yells-' Get a room!' And those priceless Kodak moments you see at the airports? Where people hug and spin in the air after being apart for a New York minute?!

It's not like I don't love or I'm not happy to see a person after a few days or' happiness... is... Internal - yes- my happiness in an introvert.

And ain't nothing wrong with that!

Or is there?

Can you love with 360° of separation?

Psalm 91:1 - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I was standing on the beach this summer, the sun tanning an X in my back, and I looked down and I was standing on my shadow. I hadn't seen my shadow in a bit, it's been following me around for ages but I just totally forgot about it. Adults lose the novelty and excitement of having a shadow.

But as shadows go, mine brought me to Psalm 91. How very close one has to be to another to be under their shadow!

I realized that I would be invading the Almighty's personal space to be under his shadow and my 360° of separation brought me to introspection. And a little bit of shame.

My mind took me investigating here,(the teacher in me) and I discovered to make a shadow you need just three things. 

1. Light 

2. An object 

3. A surface 

 Pretty simple stuff right?

The science of it is simply this, a shadow is made when an object blocks light- a dark object, the shadow will fall on the side farthest away from the light. If the light is before us the shadow falls behind us, if the light is behind of us, then the shadow falls in front get the picture right? 

Light - the Son - Jesus is the light of the world.(John 8:12)

An object- translucent and opaque - like us...dark...blocks the light.

A surface - earth - let's cast our shadow on that.

A shadow is that bridge

There is a 360° coverage of shadow wherever there is light. God's got you covered.Interestingly, the science also reveals that the closer you go towards the light source the bigger the shadow gets,the reverse also true- this speaks volumes. That shadow that Jesus invites you to abide under, envelopes you the closer you are but even IF you aren't as close as you should be, you are still protected. Hope for the non-believer and back-sliders. God says abide under the shadow. Close. Breath to breath. Sharing a secret place. A vulnerable place. Up close and in a personal space.

Jesus knew all about the secret place of the most high, when he was on earth, whenever he was about to start something major, he always separated Himself, prayed and fasted. That's how you abide under the shadow- that's how you claim the protection. He knew. 

Psalm 91 is powerful, filled with promises. I used to read it and think, this could never apply to me, after all, who am I to be applying the same words the devil used to tempt Jesus? 

11-12'He will give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways, they shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thee dash thy foot against a stone.' 

Surely, this was written to fulfill Jesus' temptation by the devil only and could never apply to me! Am I to believe that if I abide in the secret place of the most high, under his shadow that he'll give his angels charge!

I'll let that marinate overnight, so it can soak to the bones and plump up the flesh.

This is not an invitation for people to invade personal spaces now, its an invitation to examine why we feel like we need barriers between ourselves and God's people.

It's an invitation to examine why we can't love, hug, and give people the protection of an embrace, but demand it of God. Yes, He says nothing can separate us from His love but he also asks us this- how can you love God whom you hath not seen but hate your brother that you do see? We have to get our own humanity in touch and outside of separation.

If you can't be a part of my shadow, do I deserve the shadow of the Almighty?

Recently I heard a preacher say a smile is her overjoyed, over the moon response...its her 'yaay', its the best she can do after a lifetime of abuse. And I got that, I totally understood. I haven't had a lifetime of abuse but many life lessons through disappointments. It's why I have my 360, it was to protect, but overtime, like many man-made solutions- it had the opposite effect. Instead of protecting, it became a barrier. A self made prison of personal space. 

It's a long road back and a lot of cracks for a potter to repair but I think the potter I've got is up to the task, he comes highly recommended... So I'm about ready to relinquish control,

Control of the 360..

But it's not an invitation...'s more of a soft launch...give me some time and maybe a hug. Soon.

Do you have pet peeves that separates you from God's people?

Scriptures to ponder: Psalm 91, John 8.

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  1. Thanks Tourism, I'm glad you liked and I hope you were blessed in some way or inspired to action

  2. Loved this Tanya, thank you for sharing at Seeking God In All I Do. This was a fun read. I love the perspective and the lesson on living in the shadow of the Almighty. Have a blessed week friend.

  3. Thanks as always Jaime, I want to catch up with you soon. Have a blessed weekend