“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1 NASB)

My dad was a master at inventing games to keep us entertained or in line. When I was very young, one such game was, “Steppin’ On My Shadow.”

Dad would start the game by inviting my little brother and me to walk to the corner store with him. Then, at some random point during the walk, Dad would whistle a silly little tune, and say in a sing-song voice, “I’m sure glad there’s no little boy buggins steppin’ on my shadow.” Of course, the first thing we did was run into his shadow, stomp, and sing-song back, “Daa-yad, we’re steppin’ on your shaaaadow!” He would then act flabbergasted that we were messing up his shadow. Eric and I would laugh and giggle. Dad would repeat the game again and again all the way to the store. 

Fast-forward twenty years, or so, to an early evening when my little girls and I were out for a walk on our street. I heard a car approaching but couldn’t see from which direction. Noticing my shadow was cast toward the safety of the curb, I whistled a silly little tune and said in a sing-song voice, “I’m sure glad there’s no little girly-whirlies steppin’ on my shadow!” Within a second, two little voices giggled, “Daa-yad, we’re steppin’ on your shaaaadow!” 

Presently, the car passed, and I breathed a sigh of relief that my little girls were safe because they had been abiding in my shadow. That’s when it hit me that Dad’s timing of the game wasn’t at all random; and it really wasn’t a game. He was protecting us. His relationship with us was our shelter; his shadow was our protection, our security, and our safety. 

Little children, happily dwell in your Father’s shelter today. And, at some “random” point, sing-song to Him, “Daa-yad, I’m steppin’ in your shaaaadow!” 

© Paul R Downing

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