There is a hint of autumn about. I took advantage of the subtle change and headed out for a walk, the sun warm on my back, like a lover's gentle touch. How good it felt to be moving, lifting my face to the sky, inhaling the freshness of the day. One more day. New mercies.
Fisherman dotted the tidal creek where I typically walk. I longed for solitude so headed another direction--to a piece of property in my neighborhood that sits back on a wooded lot. The house that once stood is gone. A vine-covered foundation is the only remaining visage of the long-ago home. I'm drawn to this property again and again. Sometimes I perform stretching exercises on the cement foundation. A stage.
This day I followed the patches of sunlight that dappled the grounds, hopping from one circle of light to another. I turned around and faced the other direction, the sun behind me, to move again along the lighted pathway. My shadow jumped alive. There I was. And this shadow was the one I always hope I resemble--a bit thinner--elongated--drawn up taller and more graceful. I felt surprise and delight to see that shadow self. I began to dance. There was no one around. I felt free. Pandora pulsed through my earbuds. It was the perfect chance to move and breathe with no pressure to perform. I positioned my hands like a ballerina, swirling and artfully moving across the sun-drizzled grasses. Happy.
It came to me as I walked back home, as I contemplated that sublime shadow of mine--the slender, confident woman who let go and danced through the light on a Friday afternoon: This is how God sees me. Sees us. He is the one who says, "View yourself as I do; know that you are my delight. Know that I created you with great detail and precision. And it gives me infinite pleasure when you let go, when you shrug off the idea that you are in a performance-based relationship with me--when you live life without the confinement of a stage--when you are liberated from thinking that your worth is based on performance. No. Actually, there is a great celestial hallway with framed pictures of all the ones I create. I often walk the gallery and gaze at the faces, each one highly prized, each one dear to my heart, each one the apple of my eye. I don't value my creations for what they do, but rather for who they are.
Live carefree before God, He is most careful with you. (From I Peter 5:7, The Message)