When Shadows Fall

Yesterday I noticed a movement on the floor;  a large black entity was creeping closer and closer to me.  As it moved it seemed to spread out and get larger.  If I didn't know any better, I would've been worried that some big black cloud was going to obliterate me.  From where I was sitting I couldn't see exactly what was causing the strange darkness. 

Turns out it was a shadow of a spider.  Sunlight was streaming through the back door and a spider was building a web across the door frame.  As it moved across, it would block a stream of sunlight causing a shadow.  If it moved across that beam of light, the shadow got bigger and bigger. 

From my perspective the shadow/dark spot/spider seemed huge but on closer inspection it was quite small.  

It made me think.

How many times do problems or situations in our lives seem huge.  They seem to creep up on us from no where, getting closer and closer and bigger and bigger.  Before we know it, the problem obliterates everything else.  We can't see clearly. We can't move.  We just huddle in fear in a corner. 

But is the problem really that big? Was it magnified by our perspective?

Once I changed my point of view- moved directly in front of the door- I was able to see things how they really were.  I could see what was the cause of the shadow and why it looked so large and ominous.

When we let things become bigger than they really are, we become powerless and fearful- that which we think is huge will overtake us.  Like the classic past time of making shadow pictures: holding our hands in certain positions in front of a light which can produce a different image than the original. 

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell


I know that some problems in life are huge.  They are constantly pursuing us in the hopes to disarm and destroy us. The problems can be physical, financial, social, spiritual, or emotional. We feel that we are going along in life only to constantly be looking over our shoulder for the next attack.

But I know in my own life, I have made situations worse by not checking out the source of the problem.  It might be a health issue that I have refused to acknowledge or even get more information via testing because I have already determined that what I must have is terrible.  Or, I may write someone off because I felt that what she said or did was offensive to me. 

In all these situations I have seen and allowed something to grow larger in my mind when in actuality the original problem or situation was quite small.   I just see the enlarged shadow.  I don't recognize the person creating it. I allow my perspective of only seeing the shadow, paralyze me.  If I would see my doctor, or get to know the person better, or plan to explore the source of the problem, I might discover that it is just a manipulation of hands or a very small bug.

What about you?  Do you ever feel that something is creeping up on you?  Something larger, scarier with the potential for trouble?  What is the real situation?  Do you need to talk to someone who can give you perspective?  Someone who can say, turn off the light- it is causing the shadows.  Someone who can show their hands and demonstrate  how the shadow/problem was made.  Someone who can make the shadows fall...away.