Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

A Long Shadow

Today I cast a long shadow. I’m not bragging. It was around 8:30 AM and I was out slogging (that’s short for slow jogging) in Somerset’s little park. The sun came out as I was nearing two little old ladies who were walking. My shadow was cast on the ground beside them and gave them advance warning of my approach. I told them as I passed, that I cast a long shadow (they of course laughed as they watched my five, foot, five inch minus one, frame go by). And that’s as close as I’ll ever come to feeling tall.

But I got to thinking about some folks who cast a long shadow for me. Their influence for good is with me still, though they departed these realms at various times past. I see them with my heart. I remember the gleam in their eyes…their characteristic smiles…their warm and encouraging way. I refuse to allow their memory to leave. No way! I can’t do it. They supported my faith with theirs. They created space for me. They believed good stuff about me. The good Lord used them to cause me to want to try things for Him. They being dead, yet speak to me.

I was wondering, if you have time, would you share something with us about some special one who did that for you…who left you a legacy of faith…whose influence seems to wash over you now and again like a gentle breeze, bringing back beautiful memories for you to bask in awhile…one of your own “cloud of witnesses?” Isn’t it amazing to think back and see a bit of how God was dropping the nourishing manna along our way through so many precious people…all of it pointing us to the real Bread of Life?

He’s done that sort of thing for me thru you and I am so glad and grateful about that. One of these days…

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One thought on “A Long Shadow

  1. oakesclan on said:

    cemotosnack said…
    My Aunt Judy passed away in August. We had not be as close the past few years, but until then she had been a friend for all times. She encouraged me with her faith. No matter what, she always held to her belief in Jesus and many times had to remind me of my promise to follow Him. We went through some very tough times, as well as some amazing times, and really fun times. I will always remember her as being one of the most influencial people in my life. If it weren’t for her I might not have gotten off that crooked path when I did. God used a “bet” that we had to change my life. And now 9 years later I still thank her for challenging me. Thanks for helping me remember her today … my heart needed the boost.

    10:09 PM

    Sherry Fisher said…
    Doug, My dad’s dad…Jack…was my hero. He loved me “uncircumstantially”. He was a tall man (6’4″ a giant in my eyes), a quiet man, a farmer, a gentle man and a gentleman. He lived each day of his life humbly and honestly. He served in so many ways in the church without wanting recognition, without expecting anyone to notice. He laughed easily around me. He let me sit in his favorite chair. My place at the family dinner table was at his right hand. I felt safe and loved…more than loved…adored…when I was with him. He taught me so much about Christ just by living. He died when I was in college…way way too soon for my tender heart. I cannot wait to get to heaven and be able to look into those gray eyes again. I hope that I can be half as good of a person as he was. He casts a LONG shadow on my life…I just wish my kids could have known him.

    Thank you for letting me remember him here…to list the things I loved about him made me smile, even though it also made me cry! πŸ™‚

    11:31 PM

    Junior said…
    Dad, your stature in my life is measured by way more than inches. I’m truly blessed to have had your shadow fall on me for these 31+ years…b/c it always fell in the shape of a cross…reminding me of the love of a Savior and calling me to the place where my heart and my spirit will always have its home.

    I’m eternally grateful for your faithfulness to Jesus.

    Doug the Young

    12:10 AM

    doug the old said…
    Paige,
    I wish everyone had an Aunt Judy like yours. Thank you for telling us about her. I’m glad she loved you like she did…and that she strengthened your hand in God. I spoke a word to God about you and your students…just now. Hope your day unfolds in a wonderful awareness of Him standing by you.

    Sherry,
    Wish I could have met your grandfather. I loved your statement that you “felt safe and loved…more than loved… adored…” because of such a good man. I know he is proud of you. I felt the good longing of your heart toward heaven and re-union. One of these days…

    Son,
    From the very first moment I saw you…then held you…you have amazed me…inspired me…put me on my knees in praise and prayer to the One Who made you and let me know you. It’s still ongoing…31+ years of wonder for me. Thanks for your words…your love…your faith in Father God. How I love you.

    10:57 AM

    Sherry Fisher said…
    Doug, I’m sure you are that kind of granddad to your g-kids. You have that heart, seems to me. I love that picture of Remi…that thumb must be JUST RIGHT πŸ™‚

    5:32 PM

    Rex said…
    Doug, his name – Cline Paden. We met him on the same day, our first day at the Sunset School of Preaching. He was the Director – but he became our teacher – our mentor – our friend. He taught me many things – too many to list here – but one “notable” that has changed the world. He used to say (and he lived his life to prove it): “I want to see the gospel preached in every nation in my lifetime.” Just before he died he told a friend of mine – “You have to finish the job.” We all knew what he meant. I love him – miss him – and hope that God gives me a double-portion of his spirit. Thank you for sharing my heart’s sorrow on the day we said, “goodbye” to him. I love you … and miss you too.

    10:22 PM

    doug the old said…
    Sherry,
    Thank you…once again. Remi is such a delight. She lives in OK and is to move to CA in December, so I try to be the best grandad from a distance I can be. Skylar is in KY. I am visiting her right now. I know this…I love them both with all I am. I visited your blog. I’ll comment there sometime. I enjoyed reading your eight things. And I agree with you about Halloween.

    Rex,
    I told you how…a couple of months or so before Cline’s homegoing…I wept in anticipation of his leaving us. I was surprised by the length and depth of the emotion that came over me that day in my office alone. I felt orphaned. I grieved for our brotherhood. I wondered who God would raise up. I felt (though I knew better than to limit God’s options) that there might be no one to answer the call. I am indebted to you for telling me about his passing of the baton (as it were) to your friend. And as far as I can tell, you have that double portion of Cline’s spirit. You could not have been so close to him without catching his fire for souls. You honored him so well in his life and labors among us. You honor his memory now by keeping the lower lights burning and bringing people to Jesus. In so many ways, you are Cline’s son in the faith…a seeker of souls.

    11:56 PM

    Anonymous said…
    Doug, my grandmother Clelia Salazar, she was the virtuous women in Proverbs. She was toh most godly women I have ever known. She lived in Levelland TX about 30 miles away from us. When we would go to see her on Friday night my mom would tells us over and over that we could not spend the night at “Welita’s” (spanish for grandmother) well of course when it was time to come home we would ask if we could stay with Welita mom would always say no but most of the time we could stay. On Sunday morning she would get us up and ready to go to church. We went Cactus Drive Church of Christ the spainsh side. That is where we learned how to read in spanish. She would always tell us bible stories and and that also came with discipline and a lot of love. Saturday mornings we would all sit at the table and hse woudl ask each one of us what we wanted to eat for breakfast and that ranged from cereal to pancakes with bacon. When lightning storms came she would round us up like baby chicks and take us to the storm cellar. the best years of my life were spent at Welita’s house on Maple St. She loved God so much and her medical books. She read both of those everyday and she would teach all about ailments and David and Goliath to when Jesus was born and how we needed Jesus to go Heaven. She still is my shadow win life cause I still remember all that she taught me. She was a 4’7 lady with the strength of a 7′ health strong man. She was absolutley awesome. Thank you for posting this blog and that I was able to post a comment. I am Sherry Fisher’s friend and co-worker.

    Cyndi Guillen

    2:07 PM

    doug the old said…
    Dear Cyndi,
    Thank you so much for visiting this blog and sharing some of your great love for your Welita. She sounds like one awesome lady. I am glad you two were able to share such great times in this life. I know you are looking forward to a beautiful re-union one day. Your grandmother’s legacy lives in you. I think that is a great thought and that it gives you much joy.
    Well, if you are Sherry’s friend, I know you hang with very good people.
    Thanks again for leaving a piece of your heart here. Visit anytime.
    God bless you, Doug the old

    5:19 PM

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