Sun leans, light as air, across the old pecan farm on the other side of this backyard fence and fingers leaves that fidget as children just all green summer and serendiptiously create beauty.
I know how shadows are created, but not mystery. And it's mystery to me how light fingers and leaves fidget and create this shadow upon the rough and the rugged trunk of tree on the other side of the fence.
I watch the shadow grow and form and move as if the light gives it life. And this light creates the shape of a cross, with shadow.
I walk quiet on stiff grass to see it better. I stand on tippy toe to see over the fence. I pull and wriggle myself onto the trampoline and bob there, mesmerized.
"It's the shadow of the cross! Lord," I whisper, "see it?"
"Where's your iPhone?" He's mysterious, yeah, and a realist. Shadows aren't indelible like ink and Mr. Light of the World knows I might want to take a picture of this shadow.
I wobble to trampoline edge, grab the metal frame before I pitch over. I'm no gymnast and the trip to the iPhone over there on the terra-cotta stone I sit on most mornings is taking too long. The shadow is moving faster than I can get to my phone.
A sprint to the Apple phone. I can't help laugh at my mawkish humor. "Ha! Get it?" I feel the need to make sure He really gets just how hilarious. "Sprint? Apple? Phone?"
"I get it." He shakes His head at the likes of me. I know He does. And Mr. Light of the World nearly boosts me back onto the trampoline Himself.
Shadow of Cross
Jesus. Light of the world nailed to the cross. I think it as the shadow holds still for a breath. But light can't be nailed down.
He hears my thoughts. "It can cast a shadow," He says.
"Once there was a cross,
Staked in the ground,
And it pleased the crowd." I begin singing words as they come to me in the holy.
Light pierced the cross. I amaze.
Light pierced the very instrument of cruelest death devised by sinful man. And Light, my thoughts continue, threw sin and death down. They're just shadow in the shape of the cross.
Let the Light pierce me. I think the prayer, silent as light and intentional reach for love.
A friend of a friend said it most eloquently; "An intentional mouth speaks forth love."
The shadow is pictured on my camera roll. I scroll to it.
"See the roots trailing just there down the tree?" Mr. Light of the World leans over me.
There's sap in the root. Blood in the vein.
"After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me" (I Cor. 11:25).
Drink from the Eucharist cup, and drink life everlasting from the everlasting root of life. Life is in the blood.
"I see the roots, Lord." I edit the picture on my iPhone to most accentuate the shadow. The cross. The roots trailing down.
"I see the roots," I repeat. What I see is the saving blood of the Savior; the shadow seeping down the wood and for the life of me it looks like roots. It does!
"I'm rooted in Your life, Lord. Root me deep and deeper in You."
"I beseech you, therefore, by My mercies, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Me, which is your reasonable service." He converses His word to me.
"And I shall not be conformed to this world, but shall be transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Yours." I answer with His word in this Romans 12 conversation.
Swallow the ways of the world, toast world with what fill its cup, and get toasted and swallowed by it.
Drink stolen water, and adulterate.
Sip on alcohol, and risk alcoholism.
Absorb drugs, and chance addiction.
Fill on sin, and become sin full.
Well, this mercy full morning I fill on mercy.
I fill on light.
I fill on shadow.
I fill on life and the root of life.
I fill on the cup of life and thanksgiving.
I fill on Eucharististic Pisteuo.
Eucharistic Pisteuo. It's a mouthful meaning the grace of the Bread of Life, the thanksgiving for the Blood of Life, the faith and hope in the Life because of love. At least, this is the academically wonting definition I sort of piece together.
Love. The greatest of all is love.
And Eucharistic Pisteuo is my intentional mouthful that speaks forth love. I swallow it whole.
I let the Light who pierces darkest darkness, pierce me.
I take the cup.
I see in this morning light, the cross of sin and shame is just shadow. That's all.
And Light has made it nothing but shadow. Light threw sin and death down and made nothing of it. Yet, made all about it.
Shadows remain only when there is light. And that's a strange mercy.
"I see Your mercy. " I close my photo app, dismount the trampoline and the grass pricks my bare feet.
I would write a song later. I would call it "Simon of Cyrene."
I would paint a picture to go with it.
It's my salvation testimony this morning as it has been for countless mornings.
Simon of Cyrene
the Son of God
a cross was laid,
but His strength was flogged.
Once a man
from a foreign land
was chosen to
carry the burden.
Simon of Cyrene,
showed what it means
to carry burdens
we didn't ask for.
I'll carry my cross,
love's greatest cost;
I'll give my strength
to the One who saves.
pressed upon His brow,
but very light of light
can't be nailed down.
was on His lips,
strange words, but
cross-bearers understand Him.
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig