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  • Writer's pictureIain Johnston

All The Shadows Undone

Sometimes shadows are cast dark over the soul.

Smothering any light.

And like a child cowering under the blankets, afraid of the dark, secure under the shroud of not being seen, there is a comfort in being hidden.

Prying eyes, though well intended, are best kept at bay.

They couldn’t understand anyway.

But in that quiet darkness, that the shadows of this world have cast, the soul knows and weeps that the blanket that shrouds the soul never heals, never allows the sweet breath of life to filter in, never allows the soul to see the swirling colours and perfumes of being alive.

All it ever does is makes you hidden.

Your face is brave. Resolutely set.

A porcelain smile that could fracture at any moment.

But it guards the hidden world of shadow and hurt beneath.

There it stays hidden.

Which is best.

Which passing soul may cast more shadow? Which acquaintance of life and duty may be the harbinger of torture to the already withered and shadowed self within?

Oh mercy.

There’s no escape. So let this be the ocean I must sail. With an endless grey and its relentless storms. A melancholy ocean that rises and falls with angry swells and sorrowful stillness. A black painted sky with no celestial compass.


Lest another reckless shadow cast itself over your soul.

Hidden down deep beneath those shadows, there are whispers.


Insufficient rumours at best.

Caught in a drowning storm, he spoke and the relentless waves became flat. The howling wind became a gentle breeze.

And the shadows of the night were chased away by the birth of a dawn.

A legend? A myth perhaps?


What must it feel like to sense the warmth of a single ray of sunlight kiss the cheek? Like that winter morn not so long ago. Chilled to the marrow of the bones, only to find that stream of sunshine breaking through the sitting room window. And then basking in it’s life giving warmth.

Can the soul feel such splendid winter sun?

Can light break through the shadow and cold and bring comfort?

Can endless winter and shadow be broken by the breath of spring?

What it must be like.

It’s not so much a question. But a position of the soul.

For long forgotten are the ancestral days of warmth... life...

... no shadows.

Is it even possible?

Bunkered so deep ... so broken and so withered... there is no strength in your sinews to climb.

A sailor overboard.

Clutching on for grim life.

Hours. Days. No strength in reserve to climb back on board.

Sinking beneath the waves into the black stillness is inevitable.

But what if he spoke? The storm breaker? What if he spoke?

To me?

And the endless rise and fall of the swell calmed?

The eternal blanket of clouds fractured and warmth filtered through?

Would I let him in?

Can I?

Oh mercy.

Can I not?

Whispers again.


That he has broken storms just like mine.

With just a word.

A shaft of light.

Many are saying that his light is love.

I don’t trust love.

Nor could they. So they say.

No love of man, woman or child could ever be trusted.

But this Love, they can?

They say... He breathes new life.

They say... He lifts all the shadows away and heals all that is torn and broken and withered.

And breathes a new identity.

So they say.

A new Identity?

Is that even possible?

What? No dark ocean? No endless solitude? No blackened night?

No shadows?

They say... there are no words to describe being lifted from the depths of darkness and shadow.

They say... He gives Hope. Life.

That He doesn’t protect you from pain, but gives you strength to walk through it.

No more... being tossed by the storm.

No more... being overshadowed.

For He gives a light within that pushes back the darkness and holds it at bay.

And He will never fail me, never leave me alone, nor leave me abandoned.

So they say.


So I now say.

I was that sailor. Thrown overboard. Clinging on for dear life.

I was on that ocean. Unable to see its end.

I was secure under that blanket, hidden away.

I didn’t have to lift myself up.

He met me there. In the darkness.

He held me. Comforted me.

Healed me.

Breathed life into me.

Spoke a new Identity. And spoke it over and over again until it took root into my innermost being.

He gave me His strength. And placed a light inside of me that pushes back the darkness.

He took a broken soul ... and fashioned a warrior.

He took the broken pieces ... and crafted a masterpiece.

The storms still come... but now I walk through them.

Shadows still try to throw themselves on me... but the light within keeps them at bay.

All I did, in the midst of the storms... in the rages of the ocean... in the darkness of a blackened out sky... in the turmoil of hopelessness...

... was call out His name.


And He drew near.

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