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  • Sarah Raad

Shadows

When we surrender to God we are able to receive great grace.

Christ Crucified

I was praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary for a million different intentions of a million different people yesterday. As I said the final decade while meditating on the final sorrowful mystery, through grace and no merit of my own, the wonder of Christ’s surrender on the Cross suddenly struck me.


The final words spoken by God made Man on Earth just before he died on the Cross were, “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit.”


I have heard and repeated those words a million times in my life, but never before did they impress upon me so significantly the wonderous perfect surrender of our God on the Cross.


It made me think about shadows…


My husband has been working on a home renovation for several weeks and all was going according to plan, until he discovered a termite infestation behind one seemingly unimportant bathroom wall that led to another wall and another and another... In less than an hour, the entire timeline and plan for the project changed as costs blew out, designs were re-thought and trades rearranged so that the damage could be repaired.


I have been thinking about those termites ever since.


Termites are tiny insignificant creatures, who, in the right place, serve a wonderful purpose in breaking down old trees to allow for new growth. Yet, here, in the wrong place – in this home – they managed to create such destruction!

It occurred to me, that for God, we are very much like those termites.

If we do as He desires, we will serve the plan of the Creator and in this way facilitate new growth. Yet, if we chose to ignore the Will of God through sin, we cause such destruction that just as humans exterminate termites to limit their damage, we cause God to cast us into Hell – effectively exterminating us eternally from his life-giving presence.


Termites are so small that perhaps we giant humans are effectively invisible to them – appearing only as shadows – unrecognisable as animate objects.


Perhaps our size, compared with the infinite majesty of God is why we humans find it so hard to see God or understand his purpose, except through shadows that few have the wisdom to recognise.


Every act of kindness, conscious or unconscious, is a shadow of the infinite kindness of God.


Every act of forgiveness, conscious or unconscious, is a shadow of the infinite mercy of God.


Every act of compassion, conscious or unconscious, is a shadow of the infinite compassion of God.


And yet, popular culture hates shadows.


Everything about our world tells us that we need to shine a light on ourselves. Just spend a moment looking through any form of media – social or mainstream – and you will see “heroes” who are standing in the spotlight because they look or sound great. Our popular culture would have us worship this flesh of the world as though it were eternal, and yet, like termites in the house, such a premise is completely unnatural and can lead only to extermination.


God tells us, through Christ’s promise that he came to serve and not to be served, that it is not the person standing in the spotlight who is the hero – it is the light itself shining on the world that is!


While all our social cues might push us to hold ourselves in the centre of the stage beneath the light to be worshiped and adored – God himself created us for a different purpose.


We are the small and insignificant light bulb, who is useless without God, and our only purpose is to surrender to the great light of God so that it can shine through us to illuminate the entire world.


Because it is not on the stage under the spotlight that great changes occur – it is in the shadows of the audience, where revelations occur.


It is in the shadows that the power can be seen.


All we really need to do, is surrender – as Christ did – on our Cross.


“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”


For through shadows, there is light, which makes everything clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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