This morning as I was waiting for my tea water to boil, I caught sight of my shadow on the wall. Then this thought captivated me: Our shadows are a reminder of our spirit.
It can be easy to think of ourselves as our person- our body. So maaaybe... God designed our shadows to remind us of our true essence, that which not only lives inside, but will live on long after our beautiful casing gives in.
Later, pondering this thought with God, I had a sense, a flash of understanding really, that as our body slowly shrinks down our spirit is rising.
I'd like to share this new understanding I heard in my heart:
When you picture an elderly woman or man bent over their walker,
tune your spiritual goggles to truly see the beauty of their rising strength.
Notice the fullness of wisdom and valor
hovering behind them, waving tall and proud.
To be sure, passing years and gravity's pull have worn them down, wrinkled their skin, and shortened their stature.
Ah, but their spirit,
youthful in vigor, advanced in understanding, and robust in virtue
is a powerful figure.
Knobby knees wobbling on swollen joints can not sway its firm foundation.
As skin has become wrinkled, the spirit's distress has been ironed out.
As hair has grown brittle, coarse, or nonexistent,
the awaiting crown of glory gleams brighter for this soon to be victor.
Head bowed in grief, clumsily mixed with grimace of spinal pain,
will be lifted by pierced hands under loose chin,
til eyes meet in joyous recognition.
The sluggish heart, dysrhythmic and cracked
from decades of fractured human love,
will be healed by the most Sacred Heart's infusion of water and blood.
Feet with bunions, neuropathy, and gnarled, crossed toes
exude beauty with each step of taking the Good News of hope to another.
This News causes the other to get back on their own feet,
engaging their own journey of rising spirit.
Those callused, corned vessels of movement
will be washed, dried, kissed, and invited to walk upon a new path,
leading to glories earthly eyes have not seen nor have ears heard.
Slumped shoulders, bent and riddled with arthritis,
will have heavy burdens lifted.
Necks, yoked on earth to our Lord,
straining for the finish line.
What the world sees as old and decrepit,
heaven cheers on,
shouting psalms of perseverance and hymns of pending glory.
as the precious, anointed mouth
pants its last breath
then grows slack.
the spirit housed within this earthen vessel
with thanks for all humbling seasons of life.
The blessed hard work
of embracing sacrifice and humility
now redeemed as sweet chance to
rise higher and higher.
Unhindered by gravity nor atmosphere's pressure
it ascends to waiting,
Fully alive, the spirit remains thankful for the body's gift of hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch,
no matter how limited while bound to earth.
These glorious senses which, impaired or not, connected them to others
and led them deeper into this mysterious Truth:
"Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much fruit. (John 12:24)