In a brief, aberrant moment of sunshine the other day, I was lazily gazing at the great net of shadows produced by this oak on the lawn below.
It got me thinking that when it comes to God, most of what we see is just shadows, or an impression left behind in a place he’s just been. That’s all OK, as long as we realize that it isn’t the real thing. It’d be a shame to spend your life looking down at the shadows, as lovely as they are on the lawn, with the idea that they are all there is – that they are the thing itself. If you look up you can see the great embracing canopy that is producing the shadows instead!
I’m in Rome for a few days, and am spending inordinate amounts of time glorying in the works of man, as you can’t help but do here. I was hanging out in Piazza Navona during sunset last night, and trying to take in the incredible workmanship in the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi – the Fountain of the Four Rivers, that stands in the middle. Bernini was, without doubt, a genius. How can marble be made to look like real, soft, squishy skin? Anyway, I was checking out this incredible hand, and wondering along those lines, when I looked at my own hand, held in the same position. It hit me hard. How much greater is the genius who made the hand in the first place, than he who copied it in stone? I’d been overlooking the real thing, and glorying in it’s shadow instead.