Shadows and sunshine

Today I started with iced tea and finished with a steaming mug in my shivering hands. How does one week manage to go from ninety degrees to rain? How can days go from elation to devastation? How does our world manage to contain such contrasts without bursting?

This song came to mind: Switchfoot’s The Shadow Proves The Sunshine

Every morning we wake up to a new day in the world. George Herbert wrote about the interplay of sunlight and shadow in Matins,

I cannot ope mine eyes,
But thou art ready there to catch
My morning-soul and sacrifice:
Then we must needs for that day make a match.
My God, what is a heart?
Silver, or gold, or precious stone,
Or star, or rainbow, or a part
Of all these things, or all of them in one?
My God, what is a heart,
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woo,
Pouring upon it all thy art,
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?
Indeed man’s whole estate
Amounts (and richly) to serve thee:
He did not heav’n and earth create,
Yet studies them, not him by whom they be.
Teach me thy love to know;
That this new light, which now I see,
May both the work and workman show:
Then by a sunbeam I will climb to thee.

Sunlight and shadow and the dance of life and love with disappointment and setbacks. And God invites us onto the dance floor! It brings to mind David’s wonder in Psalm 8:3-5,

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.

It is in the light of God’s love that we can know and appreciate love in its best form. And His love was demonstrated through a death where He stepped in to fill our sentence (John 3). So I’ll end with some of my favorite verses on the subject from 1 Corinthians 13,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

God, thank You for showing us love that never fails. Thank You for light that contrasts the darkness and brings joy to a world of opposites. Please help me share the light of hope to those I am with – spreading it like sunbeams through the clouds. I love You, Amen.


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