My Shadow of His Nearness

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly – Attributed to Richard de Wych (1197-1253); Bishop of Chichester (1244-1253)

+

How oft, day by day, I have prayed, seeking, weeping, O Lord Jesus, through tears of longing for You, to see You more clearly, so, to love You more dearly, so, to follow You more nearly.

Yet I find it to be my lot that the clearer, dearer, nearer I draw to You the farther away You appear (if, at all, You appear!). For oft what I behold is not Your Presence, but only the shadow of Your Existence.

Or is the shadow my own? The shadow of my sin; its dimness growing deeper, greater in the eternal luminescence of Your Presence?

If that be so, dare I rejoice in the appearance of this darkness! For it means I am closer to You than I dared to conceive or believe.

© 2021 PRA

#seekingJesus #findingJesus #seeinglovingfollowingJesus

9 thoughts on “My Shadow of His Nearness

  1. Paul,

    This has echoes of the shadow theme that has been the focus of Richard Rohr’s daily meditations this week. Very powerful truths to be found there, I think! Thanks for the idea that the visibility of the shadow implies the nearness of God. It resonates mightily with me!

    Love,

    Karen

    Like

  2. Karen, I am fascinated by (and fixated on) the shadow theme. What the shadow is (or, indeed, what dimensions of the shadow appear, both within and without). What the shadow signifies. Etc. In this, I also, inevitably, contemplate the existence and nature of light. And, thus, the relation between the two. Ergo. Does light dispel darkness/shadow (a common theme and notion, I think). Or, in my view and experience, does light magnify shadow? Does the shadow appear more pronounced in the light?

    Hmmm, more to consider.

    Love

    Like

    1. Fascinating questions! And yes, always more to shadow than meets the eye, I think (which is probably a blatant redundancy, now that I think about it). You may want to check out the week’s meditations on Rohr’s CAC website, as there have been some riveting ideas presented.

      I’ve been thinking over the past couple of weeks of stifling heat in Minnesota of the blessedness of shadow and shade. Sunlight is unequivocally life-giving, but if you can’t escape it, it is also deadly. Perhaps that reality becomes an apt metaphor for our internal and spiritual lives as well. We may need what lives in the shadows to counterbalance what we always want to project into the light, even if we’re kind of afraid of what lives in the shadows.

      Stay cool, Paul. (Which of course you always are!) Enjoy the shade!

      Love again…..

      Karen

      Like

      1. Karen, your observation — “Sunlight is unequivocally life-giving, but if you can’t escape it, it is also deadly” — stirs the thought of moderation, applicable, I think, to anything and everything and, surely, per your note, regarding our spiritual lives. To wit: A bit of something serves a goodly purpose and an excess of that same something can be harmful.

        As I apply this to myself, one who oft favors (or, at the least, is more comfortable within or more trusting of) the shadow as opposed to the light, too much darkness, literally and metaphorically, blinds me to the life-giving-and-enhancing wonder of the light. I must ponder this…

        Love

        Like

  3. Hi Karen & Paul,

    I only have limited internet while traveling this week but posted a long thing this morning about shadows a f light. It showed that it posted but clearly did not. Please know I’ve been following this presentation and am so sorry it got lost in cyberspace.

    Love

    Like

  4. Karen & Paul,

    Ok let me try responding to this conversation again! What I wanted to say about shadows & light was that initially I was disappointed to see the weather report for cloudy & rainy for our entire St Lucia vacation. I wanted it to be sunny & cloud free! YET my most powerful moments during this trip have been the shadows, and clouds showing bright small glimpses of the sun that made for stunning pics. I felt so close to God as the shadows and clouds showed me the many faces of God – Appearing and disappearing! But the most powerful image was not the sun, but the rain. We went to a place called Pigeon Forest National Landmark (an old fort) which if you climb high enough you can see the entire island. It was supposed to rain all day but when it cleared for a few minutes we left the hotel and got almost to the top of the trail when the skies opened up, and it rained harder than I’ve ever experienced. I’ve often said that when we get caught in the rain it’s God washing away from us things we need to let go. We were totally soaked but laughing hysterically! As you know my daughter and I have had a very complicated relationship but as we all stood laughing and hugging, for me it brought out of the shadows some of our challenges and forced us to bring them into the light. It’s been a most powerful trip!

    Love to you both!!

    Like

    1. Dear Loretta,

      I’m so glad you re-posted what was lost! This is SO beautiful. I will NEVER think of getting caught in the rain in the same way again.

      Your trip – and the whole experience of shadow and rain and sunlight appearing momentarily – sounds amazing. And you have interpreted it with such vision. I can’t wait to see your pictures. I hope this is going to be your next blog post.

      Both of you have inspired me to live for a while in the theme of shadow and light. The metaphors around it are so rich and abundant; it never seems to grow thin, regardless of how often we approach it.

      I hope the remainder of your trip is as wonderful as what you’ve experienced, Loretta.

      And happy Father’s Day, Paul! I hope you are with your daughter today – either in person or in spirit – or both!

      Much love to you both,

      Karen

      Like

    2. My dearest Loretta, your words move me, richly, deeply.

      “…my most powerful moments during this trip have been the shadows, and clouds showing bright small glimpses of the sun that made for stunning pics. I felt so close to God as the shadows and clouds showed me the many faces of God.” (The many faces of God! How provocative and evocative for me!)

      “…But the most powerful image was not the sun, but the rain…it rained harder than I’ve ever experienced. I’ve often said that when we get caught in the rain it’s God washing away from us things we need to let go.” (Wow! Rain as a sign and the reality of catharsis! This’ll preach!)

      “We were totally soaked but laughing hysterically! As you know my daughter and I have had a very complicated relationship but as we all stood laughing and hugging, for me it brought out of the shadows some of our challenges and forced us to bring them into the light.” (Lord, have mercy and glory to God!)

      My dearest Karen, I’m with you. “I will NEVER think of getting caught in the rain in the same way again.” Amen!

      Love y’all!

      Like

      1. Thank you soooooo much Karen and Paul!!! I’m glad it will preach!! It was a powerful 6 days!!

        Love y’all back!!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close