A Life Lived in the Shadows

A Life Lived in the Shadows

On the exact day my daughter was born, across town my grandma was being rushed to the hospital. Her lungs were failing. For two months she fought for her life, but on her 85th birthday, last Sunday, she went home to be with the Lord.

This morning as I sat holding my little daughter I was reflecting back on the past two months. Was it providence or coincidence that grandma’s life ended as my daughter’s was beginning? Only God knows.

I thought about all the hopes and dreams I have for my daughter. I spend enormous amounts of mental energy conspiring about how I’m going to make a difference in this world. I’m already passing those same dreams of making a difference on to my daughter.

But I began to wonder if my daughter might have a life like my grandma.

Grandma lived in a small world of Siamese cats and books and self-preservation. She was a brilliant woman, but that brilliance was lived out in the shadows. The shadows of caring for the all-consuming needs of my grandfather who was crippled his entire life. Her only escape was books and cats.

And yet, I watched her in those shadows. She read the Bible every morning without fail. She read volumes of books. She introduced me to Francis Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis. In the brief moments when my grandfather didn’t have a pressing need, she and I would talk about the deep truths in those books. Those talks and books changed my life and shaped me into who I am today. They built my faith.

My grandma’s life may have been lived in the shadows, but I know the impact she had – an impact that is being lived out in her kids and grandkids.

If you feel your life is relegated to the shadows, don’t be afraid. You are still having an impact. Someone is watching you. Be faithful. Be courageous. Your life matters, no matter how insignificant it may seem. And there’s a very good chance you are having a greater long-term impact than you could ever imagine.

Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you… 1 Thess. 4:11