The Shadow

The Shadow was growing. Darkness was on the move; light seemed to be in retreat. A nervous fear gripped many.

Some hid while others didn’t want to talk about it. But there were some that wanted to know what to do. But formerly trusted voices were silent. A few of those voices spoke out but mostly mumbled when they did. And the few voices that did speak clearly became targets. The Shadow pounced on any resistance. And that had its desired effect. Defiance was snuffed.

It was not like the Shadow was new. But for years the Shadow had stayed in the corner. It could always be found by those looking for it, as some surely did. But for most it was like a dragon, the stuff of legend and lore. The Shadow, they said, existed in the minds of the ignorant and naïve.

The People of the Light knew better. The Shadow was spoken of in their Book. But few had anticipated its emboldened ways—and its success. The darkness was now out in the open, defying anyone to shine. Equally troubling was that many who should have encouraged the resistance were cowards or were engulfed by it themselves.

To say that it was bleak would not do justice. The Shadow was on the march. What could one do?

There were pockets of People of the Light, however. The Shadow was aware of them. It tried to stamp them out. Many of the pockets were easily snuffed. Sadly, it did not take much to do so. Most of those had waived the white flag years ago. A threatening puff was all it took to reveal that much of their light was artificial anyway.

But there were some gatherings of Light that wouldn’t go away. In fact, despite the darkness’s success, the flickering light there was becoming brighter. Despite circumstances, they were growing. And there was a warmth experienced in them, as well.

In such places hope was rekindled, strategies and even offensives were discussed and coordinated. The Book provided direction.

The People of the Light were not only encouraged but saw the Shadow’s advance as opportunity. They experienced what the Book had declared of the One that gave them strength, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

In addition, the Shadow’s decision to no longer lurk but parade gave opportunity to train the young. The battle was real now. There were casualties. There were traitors. All this on display. The warfare was real. The stories were true. “Shine the Light” even became a war cry.

The Shadow did not anticipate any of this, of course. It should have. It was true, its prideful ploy throughout history had extinguished many of the frail by opposition. But in its arrogance forgetting that many more fanned by opposition were becoming a greater flame.

Pastor Rich Hamlin
January 13, 2022

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