The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

I have a commute to work every day. Until our office moves in a few weeks, I continue to drive thirty minutes to work and thirty minutes back. I spend that time either deep in thought—once I even missed my exit—or singing at the top of my lungs. I suppose it depends on my mood. I try to redeem the time by listening to French music, learning through musical osmosis, if you will. But sometimes I take a break and this week I am listening to Switchfoot’s second album, Nothing is Sound. My brother and I are both fans of Switchfoot, and we spent some time over my vacation discussing the merits of our various favorite songs.

Until this week, I wouldn’t have said much about the song, “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine.” It’s got a fairly singable melody, but it wasn’t one that jumped out at me. However, this past week, I was reading Psalm 22, which starts with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” One of the most famous quotes of Jesus as he was dying on the cross, this reference stayed in my mind. Listening to Switchfoot later in the car, I heard the same words in the song mentioned above—that now I keep replaying.

Oh Lord why did you forsake me
Oh Lord please don’t be far away, away
Storm clouds gathering beside me
Please Lord don’t look the other way
I’m a crooked soul trying to stay up straight
Shine on me
Let my shadows prove the sunshine


While the full lyrics are a creative description of bleakness and despair, the same emotion that David felt in Psalm 22, the greater point of the song is that God has not forsaken us. It feels at times as thought He has rejected or abandoned us, but He hasn’t. The shadows that keep us from seeing His face prove in fact that the His light is still there, just as a shadow proves the sun’s existence even on a cloudy day. To live in the pure light of God’s presence every day isn't always possible, as much as we would like to avoid the shadows. We can take comfort in the fact that He is still shining on us, even thought we may not see Him.

In other news: I was invited on a bowling outing with some of the young adults from my church last night. I am nulle (lame) at bowling, but since bowling isn’t exactly a popular French sport, many of them hadn’t even been before. So I had a measure of respect and confidence, since I actually knew the rules (thanks to a Physical Education class in 10th grade). I managed to bowl an 82, which may have been an all-time high for me, I am embarrassed to admit. I think I was the second highest scorer out of the 15 of us there.
Ariel Rainey