On warm summer nights, I lay in bed beneath my cool sheets, next to warm husband and a snoring pug, and I wait for the appearance of the fireflies. My bay window comes to life with their lights as the fireflies appear first one, then another, then several. They arrive just a few feet from where my head rests on my pillow and I end my day enchanted by their light and presence.
I’ve always been delighted by fireflies. When I was a child, I’d sit impatiently on the wooden swing in our yard, my gaze fixed on the nearby woods, waiting for the charming creatures to flicker and enchant me with their warm glow. I was (and still am) captivated by these “bugs” who were lights. I had an ardent affection for fireflies that were to me, magical…
Like most children, I captured them in a jar, a few at a time. Then I’d kindly poke holes in the lid so they could sufficiently breathe and I’d watch with great expectancy for their incandescent light to flood the jar, as if they possessed a soft switch to turn their illumination on then off then back on.
Invariably, I would be mesmerized out there in the dark by nature’s nightlights, but a pang of guilt would jab at me, and I knew it was time to wish them good night. I’d open the jar and let the fireflies escape into the night. I knew they weren’t meant just for me. I couldn’t be the only one to bask in their glow. They wouldn’t be happy encased in a jar, I reasoned. I couldn’t be that selfish, to them or to the world who must surely also love them as I did. They were wild like lightning and didn’t belong in my custody. They were to be shared.
I thought of this as I watched them last night and how fireflies are like our faith. Jesus is the Light. He is the hope we have, the promise of good things ahead, the strength that we need for all we face, comfort when it’s needed, our Father. He is all we will ever need. And if we know this, we can’t keep it a secret. We can’t put Jesus in a jar and keep Him all to ourselves to be put on a shelf to be a selfish feast for our eyes only.
Jesus and the steadfastness of His word need to be shared. We need to be salt and light, willing to share all that we know with others who also need the assurance, restoration, and redemption He provides. I had to ask myself: do I keep my faith to myself and am I satisfied not to share it? Or do I have faith like fireflies and do I endeavor to spread the Good News and be light to others?
Be the light,
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14