Never Trust a Shadow

Today I heard my daughter approaching in the darkness, too early for a Saturday morning. I asked her to tell me what happened. “An episode.” With schizophrenia, this means threatening voices and shivering in bed with a paralyzing terror.

In the stillness just before dawn, we talked until her fears lifted. She breathed a sigh. “I need to write something down.” When she returned, I asked if she would share with me. Nodding, she said, “I added to my dictionary.”

Intrigued, I spent the next quiet hour listening to her various neologisms (new words) and her own new sayings. One of her sayings caught my attention. “Never trust a shadow,” she said calmly. I held her hand and looked into her eyes with the bond forged between us by years of heartache. “Never trust a shadow.”

Michelle’s saying reminded me of the Holy Scriptures.

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” – Hebrews 10:1

Never trust a shadow.

“He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. … But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” – Hebrews 10:9b-10, 12


“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
– Isaiah 12:2

Share in Michelle’s full story and find encouragement for bringing a classical Christian education to your special-needs or struggling students: Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith.


Originally Published in The Classical Teacher Summer 2014 edition.

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