Sunday, May 4, 2014

Just Shine

Image from Wikipedia
It's Thursday night, 8:00, and I am walking into the dusky woods behind my house with four intrepid friends. We all carry lights, but we don't turn them on. Slowly the leftover sunlight disappears. Slowly the night gets darker. The ravines turn black. The trail is felt rather than seen. Owls hoot in the distance.

And the fireflies come out.

At first I'm not sure what's causing it. I'm walking along the trail when suddenly a leaf on the ground lights up, neon-green. I dismiss it at first--until I see another. And another. And a log with two or three bright-glowing lights, like greenish flashlights in the now-dark woods. We all stop and we stare; these tiny bugs, as small as a pencil lead, are lighting up the entire forest. Catch a dozen, and you have a flashlight.

I'm thinking--what is bright is only seen in the darkness. Only in darkness. And you rarely see what's causing the light. I can't see the firefly, but I sure see the light it gives.

We are His lamps, to shine where He shall say;
And lamps are not for sunny rooms,
Or for the light of day,
But for dark places of the earth,
Where shame and wrong and crime have birth;
Or for the murky twilight gray,
Where wandering sheep have gone astray; 
Or where the lamp of faith grows dim,
And souls are groping after Him.
And so sometimes we find a flame,
Clear shining through the night--
So dark we cannot see the lamp, but only see the light.
May we so shine--His love the flame--
That men may glorify His name.
--R.J. Flint

Am I shining? If so, where? Am I trying to shine in a place that is completely irradiated with sunlight, where people can see me--or am I willing to go to the dark places, where they will see the Light in me...but probably never (I hope never) see me?

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