Hidden in the Shadows

So Abimelek and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies.  Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance of the city gate just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place.
When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!”
Zebul replied, “You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men.”
But Gaal spoke up again: “Look, people are coming down from the central hill, and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners’ tree.”
Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your big talk now, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelek that we should be subject to him?’  Aren’t these the men you ridiculed?  Go out and fight them!”
So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelek.  Abimelek chased him all the way to the entrance of the gate, and many were killed as they fled.  Then Abimelek stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his clan out of Shechem.

  • Judges 9:34-41

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.  At that time each will receive their praise from God.

  • 1 Corinthians 4:4-5

I have a confession to make.  My wife and I are not great housekeepers.  I am lazy.  She has been a bit depressed due to the empty nest, but more so since she has survived open-heart surgery and she is on kidney dialysis.  Now, if something gets done, almost all is done by me.  She is still a great cook.  I do what I can to keep things clean.  Neat?  That’s another subject.

Then, we have a rental home with no square edges and no flat floors.  So, if you place something onto something else, it works itself to the edge due to house settling or us walking around the house, not necessarily near the item working itself to the edge.  For over twenty years, I would jump out of bed to find out what just crashed to the floor.  Now, with bad eyes and the lighting in the room such that there are shadows upon shadows, I often cannot figure out what fell.

My wife bought me a navy blue sweater.  It went with my new red dress shirt, but somehow it went missing right after we bought it.  I wore the red shirt for Pentecost.  About the same time in the early Spring, my winter bad-weather hat disappeared.  It was a black wool hat.  But the day before I wrote this, my wrist brace disappeared.  It is black.  A few days before my newsboy cap that is black lined, but with a fake quilted pattern of patches on top disappeared.

As for the wrist brace, I went to a surgeon who gave me a shot of steroids in the left wrist meniscus.  The majority of the pain is gone, but there are still some problem areas and I wear the brace when doing laundry, vacuuming, lifting boxes, etc.  And I wear it while sleeping, but I did not wear it last night – due to it being lost.  That means good and bad news.  When I go back to the surgeon in another month, unless everything eventually clears up, I know that the injury during my sleep is due to my hand getting pinned under my body while being hyperextended backward.  I think that is the tennis elbow tendon.  The pain woke me up last night.

So, this morning, I went on another extended hunt in the daylight to find the brace.

Now next to the recliner in the living room is my wife’s metal box with important papers.  Why there?  All the closets are full, and the top of the box provides a convenient place to rest a glass of iced tea while watching the television.  The problem is that with the poor lighting, the area between the metal box and the recliner is always in the shadows, but with daylight at just the right angle, I could see that the newsboy cap was there.  It had been on the arm of the recliner, and being a rocker recliner, it easily fell off, landed upside down, with hardly any of the non-black surface showing – but enough with the sun hitting it at just the right angle.  I would have looked there if I had remembered where I had placed the cap when I took it off.  When I picked it up, I picked up three things.  I picked up the newsboy cap, the winter weather hat (in the photo) and the wrist brace that had Velcro’ed the three things together.  Odd how the Velcro does not work most of the time, but it did then.  Just for giggles, I reached into the darkness, and I pulled the blue sweater out from the abyss.  Too bad the cameras were not running, it would have been a neat magic trick.

I had been looking for that black wool hat for four months, but with bad eyesight, a black thing in the shadows, it was invisible.  And I have moved things around to vacuum in the nooks and crannies.

I can sympathize with King Gaal.  You can see shadows and think it is something else, but then, it might well be what you feared.

God promises us no shadows in heaven.  And I am sure there will be no dust there either.  Yes, God is Light, and there will be no shadows, no hidden corners.

And if you are one of those people that loves hiding in the hidden corner, in the shadows where you do not have to engage in conversations …  Yes, I feel your pain.  God will fix that issue too, and you will be conversing with boldness.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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