Shadow People

We stay in the city when we travel to Chicago.  This is part of the reason I really NEED to go home after about 7 days.  The city is always alive.  There is always traffic, always emergency sirens, always a party to be found and always a kid driving a car that sounds like a boom box.  The noise is literally exhausting!  But to be fair, the city is a great place to hang out.  It is so wonderful to walk (in the summer!) wherever one needs to go, and (for those of us that live near Uptown of the Queen City) equally wonderful that there is actually somewhere to go ;o)

In the early morning hours I enjoy my demotion time near the window of our 26th floor living room, watching from above as the commuters scurry around like little ants.  Downstairs from our building there is a small, concrete park dotted with marble benches and a tree maze.  In the center lies a strange display which, when viewed from above, looks like the face of a clock.  It is not a sundial; there is no time of day in which shadows denote the hour or minutes.  I’ve watched people as they sidestep the “3” and the “10” on their way through the park toward the street, but even their shadows are unable to act as the clock’s hands.  Apart from running downstairs, climbing up on the middle dot and flailing my arms about, I’ve decided to discontinue trying to figure it out.  Besides, the two potential audiences in view of my experiment (above and at street level) would simply think I flew off the deep end.  Course then I would fit right in here….

Anyway, I do still enjoy watching the people-ants; now I am fascinated with their shadows.  No one really pays much attention to a shadow.  When we walk past one another on a busy street we only say “excuse me” if we bump a shoulder or swing a bag inadvertently into someone’s leg; nothing is said if we step on a shadow. We don’t walk around shadows as though they are a person’s physical being.  Nor do we consider saying “ouch!” if a fellow pedestrian walks directly on the smoke colored person keeping perfect time with our stride.  Shadows are hugely ignored!  Yet as I watch from above, shadows are GLUED to their owners.  They move when we do, they make the same moves we do!  They are, in fact, attached to us.

This is where we transition to the spiritual discussion.

In the chapter of “Counseling” I read several days ago (it’s been hard to keep up with writing here amongst the noise), John Street asks the question, “Why Biblical Counseling and Not Psychology?”  Preeminent in answering that question must be the view both secular and Christian psychologists accept as true in reference to the ‘psyche’ of man; that is the Freudian concept which believes there are layers in the human mind.  These layers separate the soul from the spirit, “The soul is the psychological aspect of man, whereas the spirit is spiritual….The mind alone lies in the psychological aspect of man and not the spiritual.” (Frank Minirith)

However that isn’t what the Bible says, “No distinction exists in scripture between the psychology oriented and the spiritually oriented inner man.  The whole of the inner man comes under the dominion of the spiritual.” (Street)

Similar to the equation body + shadow = one, our soul and spirit also equal one.

This information is imperative to our understanding as we both seek and give counsel.   If we attribute the problems we encounter to a psyche (mind/soul) devoid of spirit we will necessarily focus on the wrong issue.

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