“. . . lest his shadow might fall on anyone . . .” Acts 5:15
The crowds came from all the surrounding villages to Jerusalem to be healed by the apostles. So widespread was the fame of Peter’s healing powers that people would bring their sick friends and relatives into Peter’s presence in hopes that his shadow might fall on them. In the ancient world, a person’s shadow was believed to represent power. But we make too much of it. We all have shadows.
An individual’s shadow is the result of their position with regard to the sun. Likewise, the influence of our character is entirely conditioned on our relationship with the Son of righteousness. What we are in the presence of Jesus, determines the shadow we cast onto others.
Our shadow can be big or small. Depending on the source, our shadow can be comforting or scary. One thing is for sure, our relationship with Christ controls the quality of our entire life.
And just as in the sunlight a shadow is silently cast without exerting any effort and often unnoticed by the one whose shadow is cast, so it is in this case of the nature of our unconscious influence. It’s silent, effortless, and unavoidable, and falls on all who are in its pathway.
We are responsible for the kind of influence we are continually exerting onto those around us. The fact that our shadow is inevitable involves us in the duty of determining the worth and quality of our shadow, for a shadow always follows the individual. So our life is always affecting someone. The length of our shadow over others is a wakeup call that a Christian is never off duty.
What kind of shadow are you casting over your family, co-workers and friends?