Driving through the country back roads I see it, all large, bright and round up above the treetops. Slowing down, I turn off the headlight to the car for just a moment, and the light of the moon is bright enough to for me to navigate down the road without any extra light.
The earth and all it contains has moved so that the moon can come out of the shadow, bright and full; and, it is beautiful. If I were not in the middle of pitch black I might not have noticed it.
I call to the children in the back of the travel van, “Look, look, can you see it? Can you see the full moon?
Now the moon has their attention.
“Wow,” says the youngest child.
We continue down the road in silence, watching the moonlight dance through tree branches that are winter bear.
The other child is in quiet, amazement at the size, and brightness; and, amazed at how it follows us home.
“It never leaves us,” she finally whispers. I look back and smile, but she doesn’t see me – the light of the moon hypnotizes her.
The light of the moon brings me joy to watch; and, something about it seems to bring me peace.
I inhale deeply, releasing a long slow breath.
It would have been so easy to miss this moon had I been in my brightly lit home.
This is what it is like to be a stepmother. Like the moon, my influence waxes and wanes, and from time to time the children will gaze up at us in amazement and recognize the love that has been given to them.
But, for the most part, a stepparent is a shadow – a phantom or ghostly outline of the birth parent. We are rarely seen as the real thing; and, we are rarely credited for all we do in the shadows.
“Let us make man in Our image according to our likeness: (Genesis 1:26 NIV)
The Hebrew word for Image is Tselem and means, a likeness, a phantom, a shadow.
We are in a Tselem, a shadow of Christ. We are a shadow of Christ in our everyday life around our family.
We are a shadow, an image, and a reminder of Christ to our children; something that is not quickly noticed but is always present.
Our children have a choice in accepting us as a stepparent, and inviting us into their life, and into their heart, before we can do all that we are meant to do to care for them when they are with us. It is similar to the way we invite Christ into our life and into our heart so that He can do all that He was meant to do to care for us.
This is my life, as a shadow, as an image of Christ in the everyday life of this stepfamily. A shadow who waits, who loves, who helps and protects; and, who even needs to repent at times from selfish meltdowns. I rejoice at being able to lean into to Christ so closely, that to the rest of the world, I am a shadow of Christ.
And it is in His shadow, that I reflect His light as the Stepmother.
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