Last night I saw something I've probably seen a few times before, but never paid any attention to. You see, I was driving home from a meeting after the sun had gone below the horizon. A low fog was hanging about the area and every ones headlights were glowing. What I noticed was beautiful, in a quirky way.
I live several miles outside of town and there are a couple of rural roads between town and home, that means no shortage of short curves to traverse. Seeing as it was foggy and dark on narrow country roads with known populations of deer I was driving a little below speed limit and paying close attention to my surroundings like any safe driver would, right? Well, inside one of these said curves I saw it, shadows. Not just shadows, but shadow images of trees, mailboxes, cars parked in driveways, dogs, you get the picture. The headlights from oncoming traffic was shining through the fog and against the various objects between them and me. This cast the shadows into the fog, which, to my surprise, held the shape of the object casting them. I could see the clusters of leaves from the trees through the shadow in the fog. I could see clearly the shape of mailboxes, one with the flag still up. I thought, "Wow, how neat!" Most of these shadows were a little misshapen because of the angles between the oncoming vehicle and myself, but occasionally things lined up perfectly to see a very clear straightforward image.
You've no doubt seen this yourself, or at least photographs of this phenomenon in the form of the sun behind a stand of trees with fog and the resulting shadows. Now, think of your life. You are the trees, the mail boxes, the parked cars, the random pets. You live your life in this world full of darkness, just like me. This darkness is the sin and pain and general lostness, the curse, of this world. The people can find their way around this world about as effectively as a person could find his way around a strange dark place with a hanging fog to look through. The problem is, no one has a light to shine on their path to aid them in finding their way, including you. Sounds a little desperate doesn't it, it's a lot desperate. Here is the great thing to consider. Jesus is the light, He desires to shine through the darkness and fog, and when you trust Him with yourself, He shines right on you everywhere you go. This has another effect besides illuminating your way to Him, It casts a shadow in the dark fog. Sometimes, when we are focused and living in line with His word, this shadow is clear and easy to determine. Sometimes, when our focus is a little off, when we aren't in line with Him, our shadows tend to get a little distorted, a little less easy to pick out the life casting it. Regardless, this shadow is what draws the lost world to us, causes them to ask about the light shining about us that could shine on their path.
Question, what kind of shadow are you casting into the dark fog? Can people look at you and see the truth, the presence of God, or is your shadow distorted and they have to study you for a while or even ask who you are? Ponder on this. To answer this question for myself, I fear too often my shadow is unclear, and I look back and remember the times when people could walk up and tell me why I was different, accusingly say I was a Christian, instead of just saying "your different, what gives?"