Al Jolson was wrong when he wrote and sang, “And when it’s twelve o’clock, we climb the stair, we never knock, for nobody’s there…just me…” After the resurrection, Easter healings began and the sick were placed outside “so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.” (Acts)
It’s the extension of you when the sun is bright. You’re unable to step on it or run around it. It remains illuminated, even if in darker colors. The impressions we make or receive are like a shadow. Those sick hope that even a shade of Peter can cure their aliment. Now, that’s Easter hope!
“Make a good first impression,” mom tells you before your first job interview. A “lasting impression” is always hoped to be in life’s positive column. You turn around, and it looks back at you. (If you don’t see yours then you may wish to grab a mirror and hope your breath appears.) Lent’s forty days gives way to forty more of Christ’s remaining. Lent’s introspection leads to Easter’s expression. “No shadow of a doubt,” your lawyer tells the jurors. Funerals sadly say that “life is but a fleeting shadow that does not endure” leading toward eternal life.
During these forty, now glorious, days of death’s defeat, can our shadow reflect who we are – both to ourselves and each other? “For nobody’s there” is simply inaccurate. We make our mark on others whether in the grocery or communion line. “Shadow” is also used for the unknown parts of us that are very much a part of us.
Pray that as Orson Welles said in his mellifluous voice, “The Shadow Knows,” our shadow can make complete our Lent and Easter experiences.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln