Walking in the Shadow of …

Earlier this year, I did a tablescape I called Shadow Dancing with St. Valentine.  Its mood was soothing and calm and delicate.  It came to mind the other day … in stark contrast to current reality.  You see, for the past several months, Renaissance Man and I have been surrounded by friends and family who only wish they could be shadow dancing.  Instead, they’re traveling through various valleys … and they’re shadow walking.  Each valley is slow-walking … craggy-creviced … heart-wrenching.

The valley of the shadow …
So many shadows surrounding those we love.

The shadows of …
Death in old age
Death in utero
Death knocking
Death self-inflicted
The shadows of …
Unplanned pregnancy
Lost independence
Uncertain health

The shadows of …
Learning disabilities
Family discord
Economic strain
Threatened divorce
Job loss

The shadows of …
Spiritual neglect

You may wonder if these shadows are being cast in another hemisphere.  If people walking in them are ones we know from our work in Brazil with Hope Unlimited for Children. No. They aren’t. These are all people we love in the U.S.

What’s currently affecting people we love in Brazil? Some of the same ones I’ve already listed … and more.

The shadows of …
Child abuse
Parental abandonment

The shadows of …
Child prostitution
STDs in children

I’ll admit.  Even though we’ve been surrounded by all of this “heaviness” and heartache … and even though it’s touched and affected us deeply in many ways … none of it has TOUCHED us.  Does that make sense?  Today our family is healthy, our marriage is strong, our home is beyond comfortable, our income is steady, and I truly believe our priorities are in order.  

That could all change in a heartbeat.

Tomorrow — or later today — we may be doing some shadow walking of our own.  We’ve certainly done enough of it in the past to know that the shadows approach quietly, often with no warning, until they engulf an unsuspecting soul in their darkness.

And what then?

It’s really helpful to know in advance what our response will be.  We’ve practiced it many times.  I pray whenever the next shadow comes, it will be our “go to” response again …

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me
all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23

Are you experiencing a time of shadow walking?  If so, I pray you are finding comfort and courage in the presence of God.  If not, why don’t you call on Him?

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

I’m joining Spiritual Sunday at Blogger Spirit.


  1. A lovely post, that Psalm scripture is one that I rely on a lot when I am shadow walking.

  2. You have said it so well..shadow walking/dancing…I know it too well, and it has affected every part of our being, and yet, He is still faithful even when we are not

    This goes with what the Lord keeps telling me…bloom where you are planted…serve those around you in your own backyard…there are soooooooooooooo many going through so much…this past week it was two very close friends being rushed to the hospital for unforeseen heart issues…in just one heart beat their lives were changed forever…each in their early 50’s!

    Great post… I too pray my response is the same in these seasons

  3. Beautifully written and Oh.So.True!

    Thank you for the time it took to create and put in print these strong and meaningful words.
    Blessings, Donna

  4. Wow! Thank you for sharing this – it was exactly what I needed to read this morning 🙂

  5. I have never thought of shadow walking in quite this way. It is so true. It gives even deeper meaning to the 23rd Psalm. Thank you for sharing.