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Meaning of the hymn 'Only a Shadow'

Author:

Only A Shadow

This beautiful hymn was written by American singer-songwriter, of Catholic liturgical music, Carey Landry. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1971 by the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. He was as campus minister at Louisiana State University in 1976 where he produced six collections of original songs. He was a speaker and performer at conferences for Catholic youth ministry and church musicians. .By 1980 he was devoting himself to full-time music ministry.In 1985 he was released from his priestly ministry.

Carey Landry is married to Carol Jean Kinghorn-Landry, Since 1972 they have been ministering together in music as well as religious education and prayer. They both serve as hospital chaplains. Carey received a master’s in theology from the Catholic University of America. Carol Jean has a master’s in education from Butler University in Indianapolis.

Carey has written some of the most beautiful hymns such as: “Abba! Father” ,“Hail Mary: Gentle Woman.”, and "Peace is Flowing Like a River."

One of the most beloved hymns Carey has written is "Only a Shadow" . It is a song about God's love and was first published in 1971.

Verse 1

The love we have for you, O Lord,

Is only a shadow of your love for us;

Only a shadow of your love for us,

Your deep abiding love.

Verse 2

The bread we take and eat, O Lord,

Is your body broken and shared with us;

Your body broken and shared with us,

The gift of your great love.

Refrain

Our lives are in your hands,

Our lives are in your hands;

Our love for you will grow, O Lord;

Your light in us will shine.

Verse 3

Our own belief in you, O Lord,

Is only a shadow of your faith in us,

Only a shadow of your faith in us;

Your deep and lasting faith.

Verse 4

The dreams we share today, O Lord,

Are only a shadow of your dreams for us;

Only a shadow of your dreams for us;

If we but follow you.

Refrain

Verse 5

The joy we share today, O Lord,

Is only a shadow of your joys for us;

Only a shadow of your joys for us;

When we meet face to face.

Refrain

© Carey Landry and NALR, 1971.

The words show us how much God loves us. All we have to do is follow him, put our faith in him and love him. God made each and everyone of us and we need to remember this. 'Our lives are in your hands' . This means God is there for each and everyone of us all we have to do is reach out, follow him and pray to Him.

Verse 2 tells us what God did for us. "The bread we take and eat, is your body broken and shared for us". God loved us so that he had his beloved Son give up his body on the cross for us. When we take and eat his body during communion, we need to thank God.

Verse 4 shows us yes God has dreams for us. We have dreams of our own, but our heavenly Father has dreams for us also. He dreams that we will lead good lives, turn away from evil. Love each other as He loves us all. God's dreams may be different than ours, but if we listen to Him, God will show us His dreams for us in time.

Yes, our lives our in His hands. What a beautiful hymn Carey Landry has written and share