Thursday, September 10

Shadows of the Divine

A zoomed-in HDR image, this captures what I like to call God’s fingertip - the crescent moon. I look at an image like this - clearly capturing a reflection of one moon and not two separate moons, of course - reminds me of shadows. In ancient times, shadows were thought to be an extension of your being, part of your whole. This is why we read that the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary (Luke 1:35), or that folks would wait for Peter’s shadow to pass over them for healing, seeing it as having power (Acts 5:15). Many mystics in the Christian tradition, such as St. John of the Cross, have seen God in the shadows or in the darkness. As I gaze at the moonlight sky tonight I ponder mankind.

I look at the image of the moon and it’s shadow, and I think of us. We are, in a way, shadows (or reflections) of God - made in His image yet not actually God. As a shadow is an extension of the self, perhaps the lesson here is this: as children of the Light, we are bearers of light and love to the world and are given the task of extending God to others. When we create something, we imbue our art, our music, and our writing with a part of us. When God created us, He imbued His creation with his mark, and it bears His fingerprint. St. Bonaventure, Franciscan theologian and friar, spoke of the fingerprints of God being clearly visible in all of creation.

One final thought. When looking at your own shadow under a lamp - your hand, for example, the farther away from the ground it is, the blurrier and larger the shadow can be. Yet as it gets closer to the ground, the shadowy image becomes clearer and more defined. So it is with God. The closer we come to Him, the clearer and more defined we become.

No comments:

Post a Comment