Monday, September 15, 2008

His Unique Shadow

    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


Joyful said... Reply to comment

Julie this is powerful!!! This is now the 3rd blog post I've read today on this same topic. I think God is trying to tell me something!!

I am an identical twin, but I find it fascinating that my sister and I still have our own individual fingerprint. God has created all of us unique.

Thank you for this encouragement today to enthusiastically take up the role He has planned for me in the grand play of life.


Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie, great post. It is amazing how we are all His special creation, and to have Jesus shine through us is a wonderful blessing. I pray others will see Jesus in me. Blessings.

Angie said... Reply to comment

I loved this! Oh and I want my shadow to reflect HIM!

Guess who's coming up to Elijay?? IN October??

Laura said... Reply to comment

"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."
Wow, Julie. Sometimes you just take my breath away! Your words make me feel so special. I really needed that tonight. You are such a blessing, my sweet friend.

Cindy said... Reply to comment

What a wonderfully encouraging post. Encouraging that we don't have to look like someone else. We don't have to do it like someone else. We don't have to be a copy of someone else.
We are free to be - just who God created us to be.

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Loved this post, Julie. Thanks so much.


Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Julie, I'm going to read this post to my 10 year old dtr. She's so worried about her appearance (too fat, etc.) already, and it just breaks my heart. She needs to hear over and over again how much her Jesus delights in her.

Thank you, dear friend.

Miss G said... Reply to comment

We are all our own person! He shines Himself through us! How wonderful and encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and the heart of God with us! It is a ministry and a blessing! Kelly

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment


You know how to make people feel the love of God. I love that you remind me not to strive and to be who God made me to be. No one else. I have so many dreams that I keep hidden because I fear they are never going to happen. What if they are my dreams and not his? What if I dream of playing a part He is not calling me to? Fear, that's another topic. Some of my dreams involve my family, some involve me. I struggle with discerning the part I should play. Do I wait for God to move or move and expect God to show up?

Living in the light and allowing his shadow to be seen in me is the part I want to play. That means I need to be willing to step out of the dark(thinking)and into his light. Shadows are only found in light. Thankful for this truth.

Beautiful words again. I love this example of your kids because so often we think we won't get even a small part in God's grand play. But this proves that He sees the desires and custom fits us accordingly.

Thank you for your friendship and the way you speak truth and life and hope to me.


Amy said... Reply to comment


This is beautiful! Your words always uplift my spirit.

Love you,

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

You are an amazing writer, and you always encourage me so much. This post, too, speaks so much to my heart about things I have been wrestling with. Thank you for your faithfulness to share your heart, to share how amazing His love truly is!

Much love,

Sandy said... Reply to comment

Great post Julie. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.
Unique and thought-provoking! (and cool pix - ha!)

Tracy said... Reply to comment

I finally had a chance to read this yesterday. Such liberating joy in pondering "We are free to be who He made us to be and play the part He wrote especially for us." How I love this post! Great encouragement on a day I really needed it.

Blessings my friend...
Tracy = )