I've come to believe in a world of shadows; a world in which everything we encounter is a shadowy example of what could be. I'm never going to read a book about love that is better than experiencing a truly great kiss, and my picture of a sunrise will never compare to sitting in a field, wind hitting my face, drinking coffee until I can feel the jitters start. Just as the imitations of life cannot match the reality, the reality of Earth can never match the majesty of Heaven. I have never experienced a moment so whole or perfect that nothing could shake it. Earth is shakeable. "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe." Hebrews 12:28. No moment can shake what we will one day receive.
It's harder for me to admit this when it comes to people, but every relationship I've ever had echoes God too. A faint echo, never quite what will one day be. Even the best teacher, friend, parent, partner, is never as sweet or caring as God is to us. And never have I wronged someone, or been wronged, in a way that comes close to what we do to God. We wreck his perfect world, and he loves us unceasingly. Every time I make Him an enemy, He finds a way to be my friend once more.
If every book we read, landscape we see, or person we interact with is a shadow of our Lord, then are we not as well? Are each of us not little models of God, trying to display the different ways in which he shows us love?
Anyone that knows me, knows that I adore the Myers-Briggs personality test. If we've been friends more than 6 hours, I have asked you about your personality type, and analyzed you from there. For anyone that is not familiar with the test, it asks the taker around 50 questions, and divides each person into a category; one of 16, made up of four letters, letters that say something about our personality. The point of the test is for us to understand that every personality is needed in this life, that we all bring something new to the table. I say the same for God. I say that God made us shadows of Him, shadows that look very different from one another. Because as grand as He is, He is also detail-oriented. He wants to see him in the details, in ourselves, in each unique personality. (I/E- Introvert/Extrovert, N/S- Intuition/Sensing, T/F- Thinking/Feeling, P/J- Perceiving/Judging)
Architect - INTJ "strategic...with a plan for everything"
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Logician - INTP "with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge"
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD— (Isaiah 11: 2) Commander - ENTJ "strong-willed leaders, always finding a way- or making one"
I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. (Isaiah 43:16) Debater - ENTP "questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up"
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15-16) Advocate - INFJ "their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all"
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin . . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” (Matthew 9:4-6) Mediator - INFP "always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events"
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6) Protagonist - ENFJ "able to mesmerize their listeners"
Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. (Matthew 14:13) Campaigner - ENFP " tend to see life as a big, complex puzzle...through a prism of emotion, compassion, and mysticism"
I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. (Isaiah 63:7) Logistician - ISTJ "whose reliability cannot be doubted"
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25) Defender - ISFJ "very dedicated and warm protectors"
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Executive- ESTJ "work hard to bring everyone together in celebration or in defense of traditional values"
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity (Acts 2:46) Consul - ESFJ "caring, social, and popular people...always eager to help"
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:8) Virtuoso - ISTP "natural Makers...building the useful and the superfluous for the fun of it"
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14) Adventurer - ISFP "live in a colorful, sensual world, inspired by connections with people and ideas"
Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9) Entrepreneur - ESTP "have an impact on their immediate surroundings...love to be the center of attention"
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16) Entertainer - ESFP "generous with their time and energy when it comes to encouraging others"
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5)
For anyone who does not see how they could possibly fit in the Kingdom of God. For those that think Christianity looks like one type of person. For anyone that believes they could not accept Jesus, because they don't look like Him. None of us do (exactly)! We're all shadows! We're all working on it, and He's working on us. You're a shadow, but God works really well in darkness.