Sketches of Light

The other day, I was out for a walk. Despite the bright sunshine, darkness hovered close, stalking the cracks and crevices of my mind. This nebulous shadow is nothing new. And I found myself fighting it, once again.

If you have never tried, doing battle with a substanceless thing is tiring work on a normal day. But I’d also just had surgery, and my daughter had hurt her knee…really hurt it.

So we were living with a mom who was recovering and a girl who’s broken—a gaping black hole on the MRI where her bright white ACL should be.


But as I walked, my crazy dog running circles around my legs, I started noticing the shadows, the sketches of blocked light.

I suddenly started seeing the light playing inside the shadow—the interplay an exquisite balance.

The brightness of the light necessitated the deepest shadow for contrast, for relief, for beauty.

The highest of highs undergirded with the lows is what makes objects, life in general, three-dimensional. Tweet This

Could it be that the shadows that haunt me are what make me able to see, to grasp the goodness of life?






And it seems that the master of the universe knew my thoughts. As I was struggling with coordinating my girl’s physical therapy with my limited energy and end of the year projects and events, he sent a break, a steady flash of light.

The Sunday after my epiphany, my family and I sat in a beautiful wood-paneled room at the Grand Rapids Art Museum for the celebration of an art competition. Not only was my girl’s artwork a finalist, not only did I see her work compared to a famous artist, but my broken girl, hobbling on crutches, won.

I couldn’t help but cry (much to my girl’s embarrassment and amusement). The brightness of the moment was more than she could recognize…more than even I still fully realize.

Perhaps I’ll find the strength to approach shadows differently. Perhaps today I will remember my shadow isn’t something to fight.

Perhaps in recognizing the goodness in the seeming absence of all things good, I will find my strength.Tweet This

4 thoughts on “Sketches of Light

    1. I’m finding my photos and writing are tending to go hand-in-hand most weeks. The photos are becoming part of my rest and seem to tease words from my mind. I’m not sure where it will all go, but it’s been fun to explore.

  1. Janyre, your writing and photos are such a gift. Ironic comfort that shadows indicate light’s presence. Congratulations to your daughter! 🎉 Praying for your continued healing and for your daughter’s knee.

    1. Thanks, Pearl! I’m slowly coming to terms with the oxymoronic nature of life in general, and our God in particular. It isn’t always what we want, but it’s stretching my trust. Thanks for the prayers. We can definitely use them right now.

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