Fleeting shadows

Today in 1800, William Fox Talbot, photography pioneer, was born. In 1839 a scottish newspaper enthused: “even a shadow, the emblem of all that is most fleeting in this world, is fettered by the spell of the invention, and remains perfect and permanent long after it has been given back to the sunbeam which produced it.” (read it again)

What is more fleeting than a shadow?

Shadows move with the object casting them, sometimes accelerating and spinning around faster than the object itself, depending on the angle of the sunlight. Children chase their shadows, only to learn a lesson in elusiveness.

Of course the shadow of a fixed object, like one of the huge oak tress in my front yard, appears not to be moving (except for the swaying branches’ shadows). But wait a minute or two. Rest in that old hammock for any length of time, and you will find the shadow patches shifting. They are in motion too, albeit ever so slowly.

The great quote above, about a photograph fettering [“chaining/binding”] a shadow permanently is fascinating. (Few newspaper articles display such fine writing anymore, but that’s a subject for another day).

Think about this: the things we take for granted as “fleeting” can be fixed and fettered for future review.

The Bible tells us that our Maker will one day ask for an accounting of “every idle word” we have spoken. And you thought no one would remember? Other warnings appear through the Scriptures — like the agricultural metaphor of sowing and reaping. Fleeting things, things tossed away and no longer visible, are not lost; they are not without consequence.

God sees, God hears, God snaps the photo. We will all be called to account.

Oh how you and I need two things:
(1) we need an advocate/savior, named Jesus; and
(2) we need to pray as did King David of old (Psalm 19:14):
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

yours by divine mercy,
pastor david

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