I lay in bed a few minutes ago, putting the littlest ones to sleep - a long and arduous process that I mostly resent, but often provides me the necessary 20 minutes of peace and quiet required to reach a state of reflection, my soul quiet and ready to hear a whisper from God. Today I lay in a basement guest room, looking up as the sunlight shafted through a flowerbed casement window. A single strand of spiderweb silk blew in the wind attached to a browning hosta leaf, refracting sunlight against the wall. The beauty of this refraction was what entranced me at first, the gliding light, prismatic rainbow, dancing shadow.

A cloud passed over the sun, and the whole room was plunged into shady gray. The chocolate walls were dark and creamy, and the spiderweb's dancing prism disappeared from view.

I was struck by the difference between these two objects, blocking the sun rays, one from such a distance as the sod of the planet Earth, and another floating 10,000 feet above.  The closer to the source of light, the larger the shadow cast on life down below.

What a potent picture of our walk with Christ! The closer we are to the source of Light, the larger the shadow Satan's schemes cast downward, the more easily recognizable. The cloud is ominous and dark and gloomy - the spiderweb bewitching, blithe, enticing. Both block the light. But the tiny strand of the spiderweb, so many more thousands of feet away from the Son, casts such a different shadow.

I need to dance close to the Light (walk in the light as He is in the light) so Satan's shadows are obvious immediately. (I John 1:7) Beware of the bewitching web Satan spins in the farthest, darkest corner of my soul, the one I've sheltered from God's exposing, cleansing Light.

David Johnson and Jeff van Vonderen write:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16) Our Father is a sympathetic King who has sent us abroad. The Throne of Grace is the safe place we represent. The church needs to be a safe place for people who need grace to help in time of need. Let no unwholesome [literally, "rotten"] word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29). Churches where tired, wounded people are given formulas and advice to help in time of need, or are shamed for having a need, do not represent the true King.
Pray God that I lend my self - my body, soul, motivation, energy, time, desire - to be an instrument of grace to help in time of need. I am so convicted by Ephesians 4:29! How many times have my lips spilled rottens words, words self-bent, words concerned only with life from my point of view, words NOT good for edification according to the need of the moment. I pray to grow in this area. That I may bless those I love...and those little ones who may be imitating me silently from afar, where I cannot see. May the enticing shadow of Satan's prism never be the one I cast.