From Shadows to Radiance

Psalm 34:5 is one of my favorite verses. “Those who look to Him for help with be radiant with joy! No shadow of shame will darken their faces.” The contrast between radiance and shadows is such a compelling image. As I have mediated on this verse, I have come to identify both with the radiance of his joy and the deep loneliness of the shadows. When we live in the shadows, we are incapable of reflecting His glory to others, because we are so caught up in our own shame. This is not the shame of conviction that leads to repentance; this is the self-induced shame, sometimes over issues and situations over which we have no control. Often we find ourselves suffering the shame of someone else’s sinful choices. I am so thankful that we have the option of turning to Him for help. We can step out of the shadows of shame and into the radiance of His joy. This poem is a reflection of that radiant joy that comes from looking to Him.

The Shadows

Standing in the shadows,
Drawn in by the murky grey,
Wallowing in “what ifs?”
My strength is slipping away.

Nowhere to turn for help,
Who would hear my cries?
Wrapped in the shadows I stand,
Believing the enemy’s lies.

Alone, dark, and empty,
Yet, longing for the light.
Frozen in the shadows,
Shame a shroud like night.

Till one tiny ray shines through,
“Look to me…” a voice I hear.
“No shadow of shame can hide you,
Believe me, I am near.”

“I took the shadow of death,
I dealt it a final blow.
I shouldered the shame of the world.
It’s time for you to let go.

Step out from the shadows,
Step into my light,
Find radiant joy,
Step free from the night.”

Now I know where I belong,
For once I’m utterly shameless,
I know my heart is free.
Before him I stand blameless.

No shadow of shame,
Can ever darken my face,
For I’m a child of the king,
Made whole by his grace.


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