Casting Our Shadow!


Today is Ground-Hog day! What better way than that day to be reminded about the importance of casting and leaving one’s “shadow” on our fellowmen. I’m sure we have all had the experience of feeling the heat of the sun beat down on us as we travel in our cars. If we are driving for a long distance with the sun shinning down, we can become exhausted from not only the heat, but the blinding nature of the sun’s rays. We continue on in annoyance, hoping for some respite. If we are lucky, and much to our delight, a big eighteen-wheeler might pass us by, blocking the rays of the hot sun and it’s blinding light. Sometimes I have tried to stay beside the big rig for as long as I can. It’s shadow is providing me with such relief. I am happy the anonymous rig is my traveling companion.

As we travel down the road of life we too can “cast our shadow” and relieve the pain and suffering of others. The master “shadow caster” is the Savior. Through his life, death, and resurrection, he has provided shade and comfort for all weary travelers. His influence, or “shadow”, is still giving comfort and aid around the world; this, long after his mortal life has ceased! Just as I tried to stay with the eighteen-wheeler that gave me shade, all of us must continually seek to live under shadow of the Savior’s influence. While the shadows that we cast in this life will not be of the magnitude of our Lord, on a lesser scale, we can provide the shade of hope, comfort, and support to all those we come in contact with. In fact, in almost all we do there is a shadow cast, for good or bad. Perhaps no mortal man cast more of a shadow than Peter. So much so that the scriptures record:

“…they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” (Acts 5:15).

Peter cast a giant shadow on his fellowmen. We have the daily opportunity to do the same, if only for the one. Taking the time to patiently “listen” to one in need, is a way of “casting our shadow” on others. We can provide relief and comfort for them from the heat of the day. Sometimes, just knowing that someone cares is enough to provide temporary shade for those in need. Living an exemplar life can “cast a giant shadow” providing hope for many. The prophet Alma said, “… by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…”(Alma 37:6). My experience has proven his words to be right! It is the through efforts of many people, doing small things, that provide small shadows of relief, that help others on their way. In this life we all need shade from the heat from time to time. Isn’t it wonderful, that in our small moments of need, someone, anyone, is willing to watch over us. So that for a day, an hour , or even a minute, we can rest in their shadow.

There may be seasons in our life where like Phil, we may not be casting shadows giving shade to others. We need to remember to be thankful, in those times, to others who provide that service for us. Having said that, may we be the kind of person who is looking to provide respite for the weary of heart, and the “poor wayfaring” person of grief. Let us be the kind of person who, as we rub shoulders with others in this life, see us, as the people saw Peter in his day. Let us be the kind of person who others love to travel with, because our shadow will give them strength to weather life’s journey.

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