September 26, 2020

Shadows Cast by Light - Marnie Pohlmann


Shadows. I picture the scene in Peter Pan where Wendy sews Peter’s shadow onto his heels. While we enjoy the story of these lost boys, some who look for deeper meanings say Peter’s shadow represents the physical part of Peter, a child who died young so will never grow up. Peter is the spirit and the shadow symbolizes the physical boy because only physical matter casts a shadow.

The wind does not have a shadow. Clouds blown by the wind may cast a shadow, but clouds also have specks of matter in them. Yet we do not see shadows on cloudy days. Shadows can be seen only when light is cast onto something physical.

Projecting this into the Christian realm, mightn’t we be shadows? We are physical. We are a representative of an unseen Spirit. So, when the Spirit’s light shines, does it not cause us to show His unseen Spirit, like a shadow? Is the purpose of a shadow to make the unseen, seen?

I have had shadows influence my life. Some have been scary. But shadows who have influenced my writing style, my voice, and my desire to write, while intimidating, are not scary. Let me tell you about some.

As I post this blog, we are in the middle of the Inscribe (Virtual) Fall Conference. Did you think I was going to say we are in a pandemic called COVID? We are in that, as well, which is the reason our Fall Conference changed from in-person to virtual. I hope you have been able to take in some of the Conference. It has been spectacular. Meeting with Christian writers from across the country is priceless. Many writers from Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship have been my mentors.

I first heard about Inscribe at a poetry workshop in the small town of Big River, Saskatchewan. I didn’t realize at the time how impacting that workshop would be in my life. Has God ever put you in isolation so He could do something big in your life?

When we moved from Big River to Saskatoon, I took a huge risk and called the local Inscribe group to find out how to join them. Linda Hall was the leader then, and it was in that group where I met Janice Dick, Joy Bailey, Sheri Hathaway, and others. They allowed me to believe I could write for fun, never needing to share my writing. God was pushing me into His will.

One year I was able to go to Conference in Edmonton. Sheila Webster phoned me before Conference to invite me to share at the author's reading. I felt I not only had nothing to share, but I was also intimidated by these published authors who treated me like I was a writer, too.

The president the year I went to Conference was Marcia Laycock. She may not remember, but she spoke with me that weekend. The President! Spoke to me! I knew God had placed Inscribe into my life as a billboard. Don’t we always want a sign?

When we left Saskatoon to return to northern BC, I missed meeting with Christian writers. Again, I took a risk and “put out there” in our new home that I was hosting a local Inscribe Christian writers’ group. Shortly after, Tracy Krauss and her husband dropped in at our church. This prolific writer who makes publishing seem a simple task is now our President. Her visit was the encouragement I needed to maintain my membership with Inscribe.

Tracy invited me (challenged is a better word) to post in the Inscribe Writers’ Online blog - every month. I had never been that consistent in writing except in my journals. I had not shared much of my writing where strangers could read. But I took that opportunity and continue to post in this blog.

One summer evening in Barkerville for a wedding, Wally and I were staying at a bed and breakfast. Wally was ill, so I put on his “social” hat. His hat doesn’t fit me well, but I went down for evening tea. As I chatted with a couple, they asked polite questions. I answered vaguely. Then I boldly stated, “I’m a writer.” Terry, the more outgoing of the couple, immediately said, “so is Alan!” I apologetically clarified I only posted on a Christian writers’ blog. Alan Anderson and I then realized we were speaking with a fellow Inscriber. The Spirit shines through this compassionate couple, but there was no mistaking the mallet God used in this “chance encounter” to push me further along this path of words.

Ruth Snyder, then President of Inscribe, encouraged me to help. She introduced me to what goes on behind the scenes to keep Inscribe running. When I met Bobbi Junior I immediately loved her. This spunky woman worked full-time, had health issues, and volunteered many hours. She was Inscribe's treasurer, mainstay, and problem-solver. During all that, she still published two books. The executive team mentors all around them, with God's light shining brightly to reveal their faith-filled shadows.

So many other Inscribe members have been and continue to be my mentors. I find Inscribe writers are faithful to God and to their writing projects. The group inspires me to continue to develop as a writer.

Scripture says, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” (1 John 2:27 NLT) 

Yes, the Spirit of God teaches me. Sometimes He does so by shining His light through mentors who cast His shadow on me.

Do you feel God's light directing His shadow onto your writing? Is His shadow nipping at your heels to be sewn into your writing life? Inscribe is a fellowship of writers who allow God to be their shadow.

Marnie writes from northern BC. 
God continues to cast His shadow onto her life while she walks with Him and grows as a writer.


  1. What a beautiful post, Marnie! It fits beautifully into a theme I have planned for next year's blogs. I'll be referring to it for a prompt.

  2. Such an inspirational piece, Marnie. There is so much in here to which i can relate. I love how God guided your footsteps to make a connection with so many. Awesome.

  3. I love this piece, Marnie. (Not just because you mentioned me! LOL!) But it shows God's consistent, step by step leading. You are such an integral part of inScribe and you, too, are a mentor in your faith and resilience despite difficulties. God bless, you, friend!

  4. I found your post inspiration, but also challenging. When you say, "Is His shadow nipping at your heels to be sewn into your writing life?” What an amazing thought! Your post is a testament to how God has claimed you as one of his writers and how he has guided you to meet others who would become friends and mentors in life and in writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on “shadow mentors.”

  5. Hi Marnie! Your post reminds me of how much I love our InScribe members. I remember when we met in Barkerville. You are right in saying Terry is a lot more outgoing than I am. I am thrilled we met you and Wally. I am also thrilled you have moved forward in your writing and involvement with our InScribe family. Each of the names you mention here are all people I have met and cherish. When I first walked into the hall where our conference took place I was a bit nervous. Tracy came up to me and hugged me and I knew was with a writing group I love. Thanks for this great post, Marnie. I look forward to more of your posts. I look forward to meeting with you and Wally again one of these days.

  6. That's a good point about only matter casting a shadow. It proves that only light exposes matter by being partly absorbed into it. Some is turned into heat and other wavelengths are reflected. We aren't the light but we reflect Christ like the moon reflects sunlight..

  7. I love reading the connections created from taking those steps of faith just outside your comfort zone, Marne. It reminds me how God just asks us to be faithful and He will do the rest!


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