The impact of the shadow you cast
“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; In so much that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” Acts 5:12, 15.
In the above scripture we find that strange and mighty things were happening in the early days of the church. The apostles were preaching the gospel with great boldness and working mighty miracles, and many souls were being added to the church. When Peter was healing the sick, those who could not get close were laid along the street so that, when Peter passed by, his shadow might fall on them.
This reminds us that as we go through life, our lives are constantly touching the lives of others. At home, at work, at school, at leisure, we are always casting a shadow on those with whom we meet.
What kind of shadow and what is its impact? The shadow we cast can hurt or help. It can bring blight or blessings. The shadow of a Christian life, a kind act, a cheerful and encouraging word, falling here and there, can bring into the lives of others we encounter, blessings of which we may be wholly unaware.
The story is told of a young man who went to Japan to teach college for a few years. One of the conditions for his employment was that he would not say anything to his students about Christianity. He was not allowed to preach the gospel, but no one could prevent him from living it. He silently influenced the lives of his students by living a Christian life. He stated that he found it so amazing that after some months some of his students came to him and expressed the desire to become Christians. Sometime later it was learned that some had become teachers and ministers to their own people.
Every one of us influence lives for the better or for worse. Our influence can be silent, or even unconscious but it is real. We are responsible for what we are and for our influence whether good or bad. However, our lives and labors can be like Peter’s, a healing shadow to bless other persons and bring honor and glory to God. Can you say that others are learning to know Jesus because they see Him reflected in you? Are others learning to pray and being made stronger and happier because of some word of encouragement and cheer from you?
If our lives have been touched by the healing and saving power of Jesus’ love, let us show it by the loving, helping shadow we cast on others.
REV. DR. JAMES TAYLOR III is pastor of Jericho Baptist Church in Farmville. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.