There’s something about this photo that I love. How the sun behind casts a shadow in front. That the shadow in front kind of leads the way that we’re going. That the sun behind us gives us a sense of who we are and helps us know we are leaving our mark and having an impact, even if it just means leaving a shadow. That when the sun is behind us, there’s an awareness of our being, our presence, who we are, before us.
When the son is shining on top of us, there’s very little shadow. If the sun is in front of us, there’s a shadow, but not ours to be seen. But, if the sun is behind us, there’s an outline of who we are before us.
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, “this is the way, walk in it.”
I so believe that God is present. I also believe that as He is with us, He goes before us…and is our rear guard. (Isaiah 52:12…one of my favorite verses I mention so much!). But He requires us to step out. To take steps, walks, leaps of faith. He promises to be with us, but also requires that we take the steps. We are not little robots, but people with wills. He shapes and directs and molds, but we are oh such a big part of the process. That’s the beauty of it.
I love the visual of how God is like that sun in the background, not hovering over us, but shining the way in front of us and giving us a clear picture of who we are in His presence. I’m convinced that the more we know scripture, balanced with a knowledge of the grace of God, the more we are aware of ourselves. That shadow in front? It’s an image of what we are…not exact representation and sometimes I think that we see only a glimpse of who and what we were created to be. But the more we have that Sun light behind us? The clearer the view.
But one day…one day we won’t see in part. We won’t see in mere shadows and monochrome. One day, we’ll see in full…not just who we are, but who HE is. And that? That is so something to look forward to. I can’t imagine the brilliance, not just of color, but of being, understanding, awareness,worship, that we will know on that day. I John 3: 2 says, “Dear friends, now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him for we shall see him as he is. ”
Faith is seeing in part and trusting nonetheless. It is taking steps into the unknown and being thankful for the light. It is knowing that we don’t know it all, but trusting that there’s One who does. It is stepping out, moving, acting, trusting and putting beliefs into actions. It is being brave and courageous when we know we don’t know it all, and that although there is so little that we can control, we control what we can…by stepping out. It is knowing that we are the created, with a wonderful Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves, and sees us not in shadows, but completely.
Oh, so those are a few thoughts that I had as I looked at this photo in my contemplative, analogy mode. But the other reason why I love this photo? It’s because it’s my son. And he’s stepping out in faith big-time. And I know that God will be present wherever he travels, and that just like the sun in this picture, He’s gone before Him and is bringing up the rear guard behind.
“For now we see only as a reflection in the mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12 Love that.