My Shadow

Robert Louis Stevenson — 1850–1894

This sometimes means going it alone with the Spirit. Not everyone is going His way.

Remember the children’s poem by Robert Louis Stevenson?

We smile at the innocence of a child unable to escape his own shadow, and yet we cannot “shake” the Holy Spirit that lives within our hearts. We cannot, and will — not — to — shake that Spirit if indeed we are in Christ.

When the sunny days come and we think we can go it alone, charging forward without the Spirit, we just need remember our shadow, and realize the Holy Spirit of God has already risen and goes before us to meet this day.

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow —
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

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