Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent XIV

Shadow dwellers. Some people are shadow dwellers. They do not live in the sun, nor do they seek such a place. They are content to serve in the shadows where there is little praise. And quite often, the shade in which they stand is caused by the person standing next to them. When we think of shadow dwellers, we think of Aaron who stood in the shadow of Moses. Sometimes they are spouses such as Sarah, the wife of Abraham, or Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of course, John the Baptist was a shadow dweller. This one who identified himself as a voice crying in the wilderness said, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
The world around us is full of shadow dwellers. Sometimes we catch a glimpse of one, but most of the time they serve without being seen. Certainly, they serve without the applause and attention received by somone standing close by. Years ago while in Vidalia, I preached a revival in Wrens (about ninety minutes away). The plan was to drive back and to each day. Ike, a layperson at Vidalia said, " "I'll drive you each night so you will be fresher to preach," and he did. A shadow dweller. At Richmond Hill, John often sat out of sight on the steps leading to the chancel area and prayed for me while I was leading worship and preaching. He was another shadow dweller.
We do not always see them right away. But, then, such is the nature of serving God as a shadow dweller. One thing is certain. The ministry of those who stand in the spotlight is empowered by the shadow dwellers and always diminished when they are absent. If we look carefully, all of us are likely to see a shadow dweller standing alongside of us.

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