When my children were younger the church we were attending put on a yearly play. As the summer moved into fall, one of the first things on their minds was the upcoming play. What play would they do? What part would they have? Excitement filled the air as each anticipated their performance.
It all started with a meeting where the musical was presented for the children to hear. Afterwards they were sent home with cassette tapes and the assignment to consider what part they would want to play. When they returned they were supposed to tell the director their heart’s desire. It was always interesting to me that none of my children ever wanted the same role. Each had their own idea of what their part looked like and none matched.
The following week the director would gather the children together and listen as they told her their desires. Whether singing in the choir, a solo, a speaking part or the lead role, each child had an idea of just what they wanted to do.
Once she had gathered all her information she would begin the chore of dividing up the parts. It always amazed me at how she would work it out. If there were not enough solo parts she would split up the verses of the song to fulfill each child’s aspiration. It wasn’t about the performance. It was about giving the children the desires of their heart.
As the day approached for the parts to be announced the excitement in the house grew. Each child wondered if they would get “their” part. The next Sunday, chatter filled the car ride home confirming that desires had been met.
In Genesis 1: God says “let us make man in our image”. The word image means “shadow”. I find it astounding to think that I am created in God’s shadow. Just the sound of that brings a picture to my mind. Can you picture it? If we all lined up outside with the sun on our backs casting a shadow on the pavement, none of our shadows would look the same? No two shadows are alike. I have my own unique shadow of God. So do you.
I cannot get over the fact that there is no one like me. I am my own unique shadow. I have my own fingerprints and heartbeat. No one else shares it. I shadow God unlike anyone else. So do you. There is no need for comparison. There’s no one to compare to. There’s no one like me. I am, you are, one of a kind. Because of that, my part in the play will not look like your part. Even if we have the same part it will not look the same. We are not the same.
One year my youngest played an angel. There were several young girls who played the part of angels. Though they had the same role in the play, none of them looked like the other. Each was their own one-of-a-kind angel.
I believe that God puts the desires in our hearts that He has for us to live. In this grand play of life we show up and ask Him if we can do what our heart’s desire. He orchestrates everything just so and then invites us to play that which we yearn to play. Isn’t that just amazing?
The beauty is we do not need to be like any other, not even Jesus. God doesn’t want us to imitate Jesus. He wants us to let Jesus live his life through us in such a way that Jesus is seen in us. Even that will have it’s own shadow. His Spirit will be reflected in each one of us distinctly. It’s all so amazing isn’t it? The God of the universe chose you and me to display His shadow and we don’t have to do it the same way. We are free to be who He made us to be and play the part He wrote especially for us.
With that in mind, what role do you want to play in this grand play of life? What does your shadow of God look like? What desires has He placed in your heart? There is only one you. Be who He made you to be. Because if you do not live in who you are and what He has placed within you, the world will live without it. You are His shadow to the world, His masterpiece. Live the canvas of your life, it is His image etched on you.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Ps.139:13-14
Papa, thank you that you allow us to bear your shadow. Thank you that your image is imprinted on each of us uniquely. May we bear you well.
also posted at Heart of the Matter online
***Thanks, Sandy for the picture!
©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd