Archive for July, 2008

Being shade

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

My family and I have spent several weeks this summer on vacation and semi-vacation. One was a vacation to Disney World and the other was the semi-vacation to a Little League World Series in Alexandria, Louisiana. Both of those places definitely qualify as hot, as in temperatures, and let me say, it is not a dry heat!  

In Florida as we entered the park du jour we would grab a map and then some shade to plot out our path to our favorite attraction. Along the way we would dart from shade and shadow to enjoy the subtle coolness of the temperature difference. If we ended up standing in line, shade was a premium commodity. Otherwise, out in the open staying in the sun we would wilt as the humidity and heat seemingly smothered us.

In Louisiana most of our games were played around 1pm, in the heat of the day (the weather forecast called for heat index of 107 degrees!). Thankfully the stands and dugouts were covered providing shade for the fans and players. Each day we would try to pick which side we sat on based on the movement of the shadow cast by the roof over those stands. I think I must have said, “Sit down and take a drink” a thousand times.  

As I thought about the shade and shadows I was reminded of a song lyric and some scripture. The song was by 80s artist Steve Camp, titled, Shade for the Children. In it he sings, “I want to be shade for the children…” Several verses mention shade and shadows as a refuge from the heat and protection from enemies. Psalm 36:7 reads, “…the children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” In light of parenthood I was reminded of our responsibility to teach and protect our children. They don’t know the life or death potential of playing in the hot sun. Their body heat rises, the sun and humidity adds to that plus they are having so much fun they don’t stop to rest or take a drink which could be a bad combination.

Heat and its effects can be subtle just like evil. There are so many other environments where we must be wise and ready to act and speak for our children. Children need us to think ahead for them at this stage in their lives. We can be the shade they need to rest under and provide a reprieve from the “heat” of the day. And, if I’m in God’s shade that is the safest place for my kids. So, I’ll look for God’s shade and shadow in those choices I make for me and for my children.