Archive for August 18th, 2006

Little Umbrella

little-umbrella.jpgLast Monday night a single knock was heard at our front door. A package lay on our front porch for which we had been waiting for some time. It was our new deck umbrella. As I heard Mike and Jeremy begin to open the box and assemble our newest deck gadget, I decided to leave them be until they finished their construction. After about 20 minutes, Mike called for Mom and I to come take a look. By this time, the sun had set, and the deck was awash with the soft glow of the outdoor lighting. There in the corner in the midst of our table, proudly stood the new umbrella, ready to serve us. It was a muted red color, and underneath its canopy rested a night light in the shape of a UFO. What a neat invention! How nice it would be to have shade from the hot glaring sun. The next evening, we shared our first meal under the umbrella. My brother Tom was our honored guest as we feasted on a sumptuous meal of Popeye’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Cajun gravy and rice, corn on the cob, coleslaw and homestyle biscuits.

I love to study word origins, and today, I got to thinking about the word umbrella, and decided to look up its meaning in my “Dictionary of Word Origins”. Here is what I found: “Etymologically, an umbrella is a ‘little shadow.’ The word was borrowed from Italian ombrella, a diminutive form of ombra ‘shade, shadow.’ This in turn went back to Latin umbra, source of English somber, umbrage, etc. It originally denoted a ‘sunshade,’ and that meaning followed it into English, but it was not long before the vagaries of the British climate saw it being applied to a ‘protector against rain.’ “

Then my mind started wandering to the Book that has most influenced and impacted my life, The Bible. And I got to thinking about a scripture I had read in Psalms 91:1, which says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The word shadow in this scripture comes from the Hebrew word tsel, which means shade, whether literal or figuratively; – defence. There are several scriptures in the Psalms that make reference to being under the shadow of God’s wings. Psalms 17:8 …”hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalms 36:7….”trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalms 57:1….”in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge….” Psalms 63:7 ….”in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice..”

I’m thankful for our new “little umbrella”. But I’m even more thankful to God for His big umbrella of love and protection. He is a refuge to me.

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