In J.M. Barries' writing of Peter Pan he tells how Peter loses his shadow while visiting the Darling's home. And of his subsequent frantic attempt to reattach it using a bar of soap. Finally Wendy reattaches it by sewing it on.
In the physical world we never lose our shadows. We obviously don't see them when the sun isn't shining, but they didn't somehow become unattached from us.
As children we are first fascinated by our shadows. As adults we sometimes forget they exist. In our busy lives we ignore the dark gray spots that follow after us everywhere we go.
We also have other shadows that follow us everywhere we go. Gray spots that like ink darken our souls. Memories of things past that seem to insidiously slink after us forevermore. Damage done by dysfunction in the family. Sexual or physical abuse. Alcoholic parents. Unkind words said to us. The list goes on and on. These shadows follow us. Rain or shine. Light or dark. Even when we are seemingly unaware of them, the shadows are there.
Unlike Peter Pan, our shadows don't somehow just become detached. We do not just magically lose them. We cannot make ourselves happy enough to make them disappear. We cannot analyze them away. There is only one way to take away the power of our shadows. That is to let the light of the Savior take away their effect on you. It would seem counter intuitive that light would make our shadows ineffectual, at least in the physical world. Here light just makes our shadows stand out more. When we walk in the power of the light of Jesus' love and healing power, shadows no longer have any influence on us.
Peter Pan's shadow didn't really have any power over him. It is not until later adaptations that the 'shadow' had any kind of malevolent dominion. Our shadows of things past are the same. They really have no power over us. The power that they have are because the enemy of your soul wants you to think that you are no better than what has happened to you, what was said about you, what you yourself perceive about yourself. That those shadows will follow you, haunt you for the rest of your life. That you can never escape them.
Well in a sense that is true. There is no magic wand that can erase the things that have happened in our past. The abuse did happen. The molestation did occur. Those hurtful words were spoken. But when we become children of God and realize who and what we are in Him, those things lose their power. They become a mere shadow of what they were. When we KNOW that we were formed in our mother's womb, that we were known before the beginning of time, that His desires for us are for our good, then we can let those things that are in the past stay in the past.
I have shared a few of the things that happened to me in my childhood. Things that had an effect on me for years. And truthfully, some days I have to consciously remind myself that they no longer define me. That my position as a child of God now defines me. That what was done to me does not form who I am at the core. That at the core of me is the One who says that I am the apple of His eye. That He loves me with an everlasting love. Psalm 139:17 says "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!" And His thoughts of us are for our good!
When we realize our position in His kingdom, we then can know that the shadows of our past do not dictate our lives any longer. They do not have the authority to, upon our rising in the morning tell us how our day is going to go. They do not have the hold that they once did. Instead of the light emphasizing the shadows, the Light takes their power away. That Light burns through the shadows, like the sun burning the fog away and shows us the truth. The truth that we are more than conquerors, that we are victorious, that we are loved. The only shadow that I want to stay under is the one mentioned in Psalm 17:7-8, "Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings".
So, as for me and my shadow, yes we will be strolling down the avenue, but as my companion I will have the One True Light, whose brightness burns up even the darkest of shadows!