September 15, 2020

God's Chiaroscuro - Mid-Month Moment from Connie Inglis

Another lovely post from the archives of Inscribe's former Spiritual Advisor, Connie Inglis. Enjoy!

So many changes come with the seasons - each one containing a beauty all its own. One thing that changes that rarely is mentioned is the shifting of the shadows. Yes, we talk about it from an hourly perspective, but not so much from a seasonal perspective. In the summer, the noonday sun is on top of us, making us unaware of our shadow. But, come fall, as the sun begins to sit lower on the horizon, the shadows lengthen and linger all day.

Have you ever stood in the middle of a sports field at night when the floodlights are on? The shadows completely surround you and the degree of light and darkness comes and goes depending on where you are on the field. You can't get away from them. It's kind of cool - but also kind of freaky!

The Bible talks about shadows too. Psalm 144:4 says, "Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow." That doesn't sound very hopeful. But then the contrast is found in Jesus. Matt. 4:16 says, "the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

Recently I read something in Oswald Chambers's devotional, My Utmost for His Highest that speaks to this: "He [Jesus] came to save men...The Atonement means that God can put me back into perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between, through the death of Jesus Christ."

Atonement erases the shadow between us and God. Because of the cross, God looks at me, His child, and sees no shadow. And yet, the shadow still lingers behind me, the natural man. Someday, in His presence, there will be NO shadow. Rev. 22:5 says, "There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever." In heaven, His light will surround us--under, over, behind, before - encircling us, preventing even the thought of a shadow. Can you imagine what that will be like? I try but, to be honest, my human brain can't fully comprehend it.

For now, we must remember, that even though we live in a "chiaroscuro" world of darkness and light, God does not. He cannot because He is holy and pure. Nothing is hidden from Him. EVER!

My prayer for us this week is that we live with that knowledge in mind - that God knows everything about us - but also, may we live knowing that even though we cannot completely escape the shadow of this world now, someday we will live completely freed from any shadow. In heaven there will be not one little iota of darkness. May we live our lives with that hope, always seeking to walk in His light. For He alone is worthy!

In the light of His grace,
October 11, 2018


  1. Such a wonderful thought, Connie! No more darkness in any respect! I wonder though, if Rev. 22 is describing the new Jerusalem, not heaven, since that passage is preceded by the description of the holy city God brings down in the last days. Just a thought. ;)m

  2. Only light produces shadows. Shadows remind us we're still in the flesh. A day will come when we'll shine like the sun with God's glory.

  3. This post has come at a timely moment, while I work on a devotional for Thanksgiving, based on James 1:17; "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows." A little different theme than yours, Connie, in that it speaks of God's immutability. Every good and perfect gift is to be relied on because He does not change, and that makes me so thankful! Thanks for your insights, Connie!

  4. You’ve given us lots to think about in this devotional blog, Connie. I’m no expert in art, but I see your visual arts side enlightening the spiritual message of shadow and light. Your prayer for all of us at the time of your writing is still a valid and thoughtful prayer. May we seek daily to walk toward the light and stay in that light. Amen.


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.