My 21 year-old daughter, Shannon, and I just had the sweetest conversation tonight. She was in tears thinking about her aunt and uncle who are raising their severely autistic child, Connor. He turns 9 years old this month. She was incredibly sad about our inability to help. He is so big and strong now. We both ended up in tears as we talked about the love these sweet parents have for Connor. They have a countenance upon their faces that only comes through deep love, long-suffering, great patience, grief, a sense of humor and who knows what else. I think only God knows. Their faces look radiant, exhausted, sanctified and holy. I can’t think of any other way to describe them.
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
In the Old Testament, tents, rocks and trees are often cited as a way of creating shadows; the Lord's way of protecting his children from the heat of the day, or the storms and winds of life. (The scriptures also talk about the shadow of death. That's not the kind of shadow I'm talking about here). Christ wants us to have an abundance of what life has to offer: love, hope and joy. I don't think He meant that we would only feel those wonderful emotions during the bright times. We can feel our lives are abundant during shadowy times, too. I think those shadows add just enough contrast in life so that the other components of our life stand out a little bit more. Didn't our Savior have shadows appear at times during his 33 years on earth?