The influence of our shadows

This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:

Scripture: “The shadow of Peter passing by” (Acts: 5,15)


"In the time of the apostles people hurried to them with their needs and brought the sick and disabled so that at least the shadow of Peter passing by fell on them, convinced that this shadow would bring healing and life. Each of us, going down the road of life, casts our shadow on it. Our life, on its own, influences those around us, and we must do everything we can so that this influence brings benefit, relief and healing. Our influence on those around us acts not only in a conscious way, but involuntarily and unnoticeably. Something impalpable spreads around us from our entire being onto others like a fine fragrance of flowers which imperceptibly fills the air. Our activity may end, but life does not end, and by our very existence we either help or hinder the existence of others. Human faults and qualities are infectious, and even unconsciously for us, influence those around us. This influence, when it is beneficial, is like an invigorating breath of mountain air which brings health and strength to so many.

“What shadow do I cast around myself on a daily basis? Does it act like a poisonous, deadly snake, or, like a tree of life, does it bring healing fruit? Can my shadow protect from hardships those innumerable people who toil and are burdened, who are found everywhere? After a chance meeting with me, after exchanging a few words, does this person feel in any way encouraged or relieved? When we ourselves, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, exude love, compassion and peace, our every word and every glance can raise the spirit of those around us, transmitting to them that which the Lord gives to us for them. Thus even the shadow of certain people has a positive influence. Is this what my shadow has?”

I think that all of us would agree that Lewis’s shadow had, and continues to have, a very widespread and positive influence.


“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)