Sharing a Shadow
Kim Peek. He was born Nov. 11, 1951.  For most people that name doesn’t mean a whole lot.  However, Kim Peek is an extraordinary individual. He was described as living Google.  His life was far from easy — in fact, when he was born with disabilities. Kim was born with, macrocephaly — damage to the cerebellum and agenesis of the corpus callosum (or “brain damage”.) The doctors told his parents forget about him, put him in asylum and go on with life, because he would never talk, walk, or even be able to have cognitive thought.  His dad, Fran, never gave up on him and raised him. It took 4 years but Kim learned to walk. He learned to communicate and eventually even read! It didn’t take Fran long to realize that his son had an amazing gift,  his memory.  
Before we continue, I want to give a little background on Kim. The first thing you need to know is that the movie “Rain Man” is based on Kim’s life. The second thing you need to know is that he is a megasavant.  One of the definitions of a savant is: a person affected with a developmental disorder (such as autism) who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field (such as mathematics or music).  Most savants, only have one field of expertise.  Yet, Kim had many.
As I learned more about Kim, one thing became so clear: his memory was incredible.  He could scan a book, left side of the page with his left eye and right side of the book with his right eye, and, afterwards, tell you everything there was to know about the book.  He could tell you anything from history, literature, geography, number recollection, sports (he was once asked a question about baseball — “Who was the game winning pitcher in game 3, of the 1926 world series?”  Kim answered that the Cardinals won and the pitcher was Grover Cleveland Alexander.)
But, even with all of these abilities, he struggles with everyday activities because of the brain damage he experienced as a baby.  His dad, Fran, took care of him. Fran had to shave his son, help tie his shoes, and button up his shirt. Fran had to do everything!  Kim said he and his dad “shared the same shadow.”
When he said this, something went off within me.  The Holy Spirit was speaking to me in that moment.  The Holy Spirit asked “Do you and I share the same shadow?” I started thinking through my life.  I was surprised by what I found. In my own life I seek autonomy.  Independence. Freedom. Yet, all of these are a myth. I believed the myth that I have the right to do whatever I want with my time or my resources. Anytime, I try to find independence in myself or apart from God, it leads to nothing but destruction.
My kids do this when it is time to go to bed.  If they were given the choice to stay up or go to bed, they would stay up.  Or, imagine if I give them the option to choose a vegetable or a bag of Skittles to eat, my kids would “taste the rainbow” everytime.  My kids would not make the best decisions for themselves. I don’t expect them too. They don’t have the capacity. Yet, how often do I do that with my life?  “God, You got me to this point, but I’m going through a lot right now, so I’m going to take control and manage this!
Sharing a shadow doesn’t come naturally.  It is counter-intuitive. It goes against everything the world says, which is that I have everything with in me to get me what I want – when, where, and how I want.  Yet the Gospel so clearly lays it out, that true life is only in Jesus. When I try to do life alone without God, the more I end up on my face. I feel like I am beginning to understand that I can rest in the one who is in every moment and knows all of time.  I feel like I can stop trying to strive and just be, knowing that God is completely in control and I am not. My prayer today isn’t, “God, help me to make better decisions,” it is, “God, help me to have a child-like faith and realize I am completely incapable without You.  Help me to be so close to You — that we share the same shadow.”
Two things I want you to walk away from Kim’s story:

    1. Without the father, Kim’s gifts would never have been developed.
      • Our gifts are given from God, and you shine because of Him.


    1. The world wanted to write off Kim, yet the father never wrote off his son.
      • The world may have written you off, but God hasn’t!

Practice: This week during the boring stuff of life (brushing your teeth, combing your hair, putting on your shoes, etc.) pray a simple prayer: “Jesus, help me to share your shadow.”

*If you want to see more, check out Kim Peek and “The Real Rain Man” on YouTube.