‘Momma, Momma, it’s following me!’ Rooney ran over to his mum, startling her. She had decided they both go to the park to ease the stRess of the day. Her best friend, Kate, also joined to keep them company. Keeping a high-profile job and taking care of Rooney was wearing on her. Of course, he was an only child but then, she was doing it alone; she was a single mom. The physical burden wasn’t really what was wearing her down, it was the emotional state she found herself in. At the park, she decided to sit down under the shade, as the sun was up. Rooney, her three year old son, decided to run around though.
‘Come on, baby, can’t you let Momma rest?’ Kate said, stroking his muddy-brown hair. ‘What’s the matter?’
‘It’s following me, Momma’. He replied, with his eyes wide open and his little finger pointing behind. ‘it’s right behind, tell it to go away’. Looking strained, his mum turned to check behind him, but didn’t see anything. ‘I don’t see anything here Rooney, go right on and play’. She answered.
‘But Momma, it keeps following me. I can’t even pull it off’.
‘Okay, show me where it is, let me kick its bum off’.
‘Here, see it’. He said, pointing on the ground, behind him. ‘And it’s got my hair’.
For a split second, they were silent and then, they got it. Kate started laughing. Shirley couldn’t tell whether to laugh or spank him for disturbing her. It was his shadow! He was scared of his shadow; he didn’t know what it was.
‘Rooney, is that it?’ His mother asked.
‘Yes, won’t you send it away?’ He said, looking up at his mum, still pointing to the ground.
‘Yes, but I would need to kick your bum off first’. She answered. He scowled, quite angry. ‘How will I explain this to him now?’ She asked her friend.
‘Don’t worry, it’s not going to harm you, hmmm’. Kate said to him, thinking of what to say. ‘Okay, it’s called a shadow. Do you see it kind of looks like you?’ She continued, turning him to a position where his shadow was in front of him. ‘You see, a shadow is an image of an object or person that forms when light like the one from the sun, shines on the object or person. Look up, you see the sun right? And it’s shining down right? But does the light shine through you?’
‘No’. He replied, shaking his head. ‘But I feel it’.
‘It’s supposed to pass through you but instead your body doesn’t allow it and that’s how your shadow forms’. She said, hoping she had explained it well.
‘Okay’, he said, nodding ‘But, why is my shadow dark when it’s all light shining on me’.
‘Arrrgh, I don’t know baby’, she signed. ‘Well, because you are blocking the light, so it has to be dark’.
‘Aw….right, but what do I do with it’. He quizzed again.
‘I don’t know, go play with it’. His mum shouted. That sent him off, to her relief. She stared at him, as he ran off.
‘He looks so much like his father’ she said, turning to Kate. And each time, he painfully reminded her of his father. This wasn’t the perfect family she had imagined for herself. Her foolishness and indulgence had led her to this. She had gotten into an affair with his father after school, got pregnant and then abandoned. She was yet to recover from the hurt and pain it caused her. His father was already married to someone else.
‘What of Daniel?’ Kate asked her. ‘Have you given him any reply?’
‘Please, Kate, I don’t want to talk about this’.
‘But you can’t go on like this. Haven’t you told him about Rooney? Shirley, you know he loves you and Rooney too’.
‘I know’. Shirley replied, tears swelling up in her eyes. ‘But I just can’t get over this. I can’t seem to let go of the past. Each time I look at Rooney, he reminds me of his father and I’m afraid to go through the pain again’.
‘Haven’t you and Daniel prayed about it? Didn’t you say you both have assurance from God to come together? Shirley, forget the past, it’s just like a shadow’.
‘Yes, a shadow I can’t run away from, it’s right before me Kate, trailing me wherever I go’.
‘True and that’s because you’ve refused to let God’s light pass through it. You’ve got to let your life open before God, quit blocking His light. That’s how the shadows of your past can disappear, He alone can do it’.
‘You’re right, but it’s just so hard’. Shirley replied, crying, as Kate cuddled her arms round her.
‘I know, but release it all to God. Consider Daniel’s proposal. You need a partner and Rooney needs a father too. Come on, let’s pray together’. They both bow their heads to pray, as Shirley released herself, her pains and past to God, to let His light shine through, trusting Him for the future.
Do you have an ugly past? And you’re trying to run from it? Or, are you in bondage to it? And you just can’t envisage a future with it? Whether it’s a consequence of your actions or inactions, or a result of circumstances, your past’s like a shadow and unless you bring it under God’s light, it will always follow you. Bring yourself under God’s light. Expose that past to Him, let Him fix you. He can heal the wounds and pains.
“But unto you that fear my name shall the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall” Malachi 4:2