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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Stepping out of our own shadow

By Betty Slade
PREVIEW Columnist

Light and dark seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. The sun came up this morning and shines, but everything looks darker.

Darkness has always been here, but we fail to pay attention. We have lived in the grays of twilight too long and ignored what is happening around us. We’ve been under a cloud of darkness and the light is pushing back.

Jesus says he’s the Light of the World. His light stares us in the face and we turn our backs to him. We need to step out of our own shadow and turn around.

My son warned me, “Stay out of the clouds when it comes to writing your articles. They get too heavy. Keep them light and airy. Keep your feet on the ground. Come down from your high tower and all your lofty ideas. People need to laugh. Write something light.”

“I know. Maybe I’ve been in the clouds. I’ve been struck by a new revelation.” 

The scripture says, “Darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns.” (Romans 13:12 TPT)

I questioned what that means. The Light, Jesus, is coming and is closer and so is our destiny. Maybe darkness is dissolving spiritually. Does it mean finally we understand what we’ve believed in for years? We are beginning to see the end in a clearer way as we are given new revelation.

I remember a story from the church pulpit. “An old farmer said when he sees the shadow of a donkey in the barnyard, he doesn’t know much, but he knows there’s got to be a donkey somewhere.” When the shadow of darkness is seen, the Light has got to be somewhere.

Night is more than a period of time; it is a state of being. In the material world, night is the effect of the earth’s turning away from the light of the sun and dwells in its own shadow.

In the spiritual world, night is when we turn away from God and dwell in our own shadow. When we turn away from his presence of love and truth, we walk in deception and darkness.

A good example of walking in our own shadow and not seeing the light is a movie I enjoy watching. The movie is called “Twilight.” In this 1998 film — starring Paul Newman, Gene Hackman and James Garner — Newman’s character is trying to uncover a murder mystery. He doesn’t realize the answer is staring him in the face.

Newman has lived in the twilight of failure and, at the end of his days, he sees the answer for the first time. By recognizing the state of deception, he is able to see the light and a revelation of the truth.

In the movie, Harry (Newman) is described as “cop, private investigator, drunk, husband and father.” He failed at all of those roles and, now, sober, broke, single and retired, he lives on the estate of Jack and Catherine Ames (Hackman and Sarandon), movie stars who are old friends. One day, Harry finds a newspaper clipping from 20 years ago about the death of Catherine Ames’ first husband.

He questioned if Catherine or Jack were involved in the murder. Harry wants to know. His trail leads him to Raymond Hope (Garner), a guy he knew on the force and who made a lot of money as a studio security chief and lives in a glass mansion looking over the city.

A twist comes at the end of the movie, when Harry, in his broken-down state, is able to step out of his own shadow of failures and see the light.

In the Book of James, we know the scripture says that God is the Father of lights and there is no turning in his shadow. The shadow is not upon God, but upon us. We can’t blame God. It’s a matter of turning around and seeing the light.

Final brushstroke: Stepping out of our own shadow, and turning to the Light, we turn to truth and away from the deception of twilight. Twilight is a state of obscurity, ambiguity and gradual decline. Twilight is when we are blinded by the coming together of the light of day and the dark of night. In today’s world, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is our only truth.

Readers’ comments

Send your comments to betty@bettyslade.com. 

Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.

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