The Feeble Shadow

December 24, 2011 — 1 Comment

Nursing homes are never my favorite, with their drab colors and odd-smelling corridors, but when I went caroling recently, I found myself outside the circle of church members singing and instead glancing into a room of an elderly man who had just been given a Christmas card from one of our younger members. This is what I learned.


I looked at a feeble shadow of myself.

His body was gnarled, wrinkled. His features were like a crumbling rock – except this mountain had tears pouring down its face.

The vibrations of his hands hindered him from holding the small Christmas card made out of construction paper.

His room was dark except for the blue flashes from his muted television set. He struggled to hear the sounds the group was making outside of his door. Suddenly, he joined the chorus in the hallway with a quiet, baritone voice.

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come! Let earth receive her King…”

His tear-streaked cheeks were taken over by a broad smile as he lifted his hand a waved to me. I smiled back, strangely warmed in this smelly “home” for those who were so lonely, so forgotten, this week of Christmas.

There are so many whom we pass by.

Even if our message is delivered in the equivalent of a construction paper Christmas card, we all have been called to deliver the message of hope, the message of the gospel, the message that we celebrate year after year. It is not only to those in nursing homes we must share this hope, but to the lost we find in our workplaces, our circle of friends, and even our homes.

That feeble shadow of myself – well, I seem to see that every day now. I see in the eyes of the lost a feeble shadow, a lost shadow in desperate need of a savior. In desperate need of a message of hope delivered to them in their greatest need.

I am strongly aware this Christmas season of the lost and dying around me. My prayers have been long, and my heart especially heavy this year with the names of so many I am not only praying for, but sharing the gospel with.

The gospel is the message of Christmas – it’s not just a baby in a manger, or a star in Bethlehem, or gifts under a tree.

It is the story of a perfect man who was born to die in our place.

One day, I am certain that there will be tears streaming down my rocky face – but I pray they are tears of joy as I think of the gospel – and when I think of those I know have been changed by the gospel this year, and the years to come.

Tim Sweetman


Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

One response to The Feeble Shadow

  1. I’ve been doing a nursing home ministry since 1998. I wish more people “got it”. You did! Praise God!

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