Shadows are images without light. They are the outline of something, which is not quite discernible or real.
Are we shadows?
When people talk to us or connect with us through avenues in social media, are they seeing just an outline of a human being? Our images may not be bad; we might not purposely present only a silhouette.
But shadows seem to be multiplying in today’s world.
Friends may include an ever-widening circle of remote acquaintances, people who have recognizable faces, but with whom we’ll never shake hands, laugh, speak to, or hug.
What makes us genuine in today’s world and not a shadow? What makes us tangible? How do we touch others when we live hundreds of miles apart, countries apart, and will never stand side by side?
Compassion, kindness, and willingness to give of ourselves, breathes life into our shadows. We become real to people. They cannot forget a shadow that begins to glow with color. Reaching out to others, giving sound advice, talking them through rough times, and being online to comfort a hurting friend, while the rest of the world snoozes, helps us reflect God’s light. People will suddenly perceive something different about us.
Our good deeds, kind messages, or emails may not go down in the world’s “journals of renown”, but really—is that why we’re here on this earth? No. We need to brighten our shadows by privately messaging a friend instead of clicking “like”. We should be real quick to pick up the phone and put a voice to our images.
In other words—we dare not become a shadow of ourselves.
Remember what God’s word says: “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” Philippians 2:3-4 NLT
People need a human touch, a human greeting, hugs, and even the posted word “friend”. Our careful words, typed or spoken, can add light to someone’s shadow.
I need to work on this. I’m trying to notice the “shadows” walking around in the grocery store or in the local restaurant, and other places. I need to smile at them, speak to them, and joke with them.
~Karen Campbell Prough