“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(Matthew 5:16 NIV)
It was June a few years ago right around the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. A few weeks earlier the first fireflies had appeared blinking their lights on and off in the woods around my house and the meadow in my backyard. What a joy it was seeing them again. Their little flickers of light made me smile with delight and I thanked God for them.
Now as the daylight was starting to fade I saw out my window some of the neighborhood children attempting to catch the slow moving lightening bugs. One of the girls went inside and came back with a clear, mason jar. After chasing a few without success she finally caught a firefly inside it. All the other children gathered around to watch it flickering its light on and off inside the jar. Soon darkness started to fall and the children’s Mom walked over to them and told them it was time to set the firefly free. One of the girls protested but the Mom explained that the firefly would die if left in the jar. Then she said something that still stays in my heart to this day: “It is time to let this little guy go so he can share his light with the rest of the world!”
I think that is what God in His Love wants of all of us. He wants us all to share our light with the rest of the world. He wants us to give our love to others. He wants us to keep shining even when it feels like just flickers to us. I remember when I was a child we all used to sing the song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” But as adults we find it hard to do so. We dwell on the darkness too much and in fear keep our light hidden away.
Don’t hide your light. Don’t keep it in a jar. Share your flickers, no matter how small they may be. Let the love inside you out. Let the glow within you drive the darkness away. Let God’s love light up your heart and then give it to the whole world. Learn from the lightening bugs. Take your little light and “Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!”
Joseph J. Mazzella