The Bearable Lightness of Being

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One of the craziest things about parenthood is how God can literally use anything to show you something new.  I know this isn't exclusive to parenthood, but sometimes the context of raising little ones isn't exactly conducive to what I would usually consider fertile grounds for deep thoughts!

The other day, watching Curious George for the millionth time, I understood a new perspective I hadn't considered before.  In this particular episode, Curious George discovers his shadow (remember, he's a good little monkey, but always very curious!).

He follows his shadow around town, learning how the sunlight affects his shape.  Suddenly, as he steps under the shade of a tall building, his shadow disappears!  Of course, as grown-ups we understand that small shadows get swallowed up by larger shadows, making the individual shadow seem invisible as the sun is blocked by a larger object.

The analogy of darkness and light representing Satan and Jesus is nothing new.  Scripture uses this metaphor many times, and it is a helpful as we look to God's creation for reminders of His guidance.  Certainly nearly everyone has, at one time or another, read or heard 1 John 1:7:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

This verse came to mind right in the middle of watching Curious George!

Shadows.  Sin.  Darkness.  The shadows are mysterious, intriguing, even captivating - but totally reflective of my self.  If I continue to follow my shadow, I will be drawn to other shadows, into a shady realm where I will inevitably lose myself in spite of following my self.  The darkness would swallow me up.  It would destroy who I was originally designed to reflect.  It would drain me of any definition I had previously held and continue to darken as time goes on.  Shadows can be very dangerous, and the longer we are in them, the harder it is to see where the light is coming from.

But, OH, how I long for the light!  Consider John's context in the verses surrounding that famous "walking in the light" quotation:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:6-9


We all have shadows.  Sometimes my heart is bitter from longstanding grief I want to try to control.  Other times I'm faced with very present in-the-heat-of-the-moment impatience or frustrations over the smallest things.  Sin is current, surrounding, and always looking to steal our light.  But, the light is always there, seeking us out and ready to envelop me in it's warmth, comfort, protection, and beauty.

Maybe Curious George didn't ponder his need for a Savior while chasing his shadow all over town (this is why I don't write for children's programming!) but, I certainly found myself dumbfounded at how the Holy Spirit can move with just the tiniest grains of consideration.

Don't ever think that God can teach you something right where you are - even if it's on the couch cuddled up in blankets with your toddlers sipping milk and munching on snacks.  Ask God to use your surroundings to reveal Himself to you, wherever may be.

After all, a little curiosity can go a long way!

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