I remember the first time I ever saw a lightning bug... Or rather hundreds of them. We were on vacation visiting the east coast and a very special friend in a very special place. We, including my extremely curious 2 year olds, were guests at my friends family's home.
One of our top five vacations hands down!
It was there where we rolled out some paper and broke open fresh crab, shopped at some of the most quaint stores and ate ice-cream by the water. Old-patriotic-America still exists there, Old Glory still hangs over the wrap around white porches. But I digress.
The lightning bugs... I will never forget how the dark was penetrated by a single small light; actually hundreds of single small lights.
Bioluminescence... An emission of light by a living organism. A hybrid word; Greek - Bios "living" and Latin- Lumin "light".
There's no picture that can capture what my mind remembers.
This same friend readily quotes the following, "Be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi
I have always thought, "there is no way my tiny little self will amount to big things like that." and I measure myself and self worth by what others are doing. Over the course of time, amplified by this writing among other things, I have slowly realized that's not true.
Change... Big change begins with me, within my home and in my actions. Change is one single solitary spark that grows.
This same friend tonight brought me to tears with a simple text... A simple thought shared across the miles.
I opened my Bible to read the scripture to find Jesus speaking about believers as being the salt and the light. The passage says this:
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden".
Yes, encouragement across the miles - I am greatful.
I spent my day today at a faith based leadership conference and one of the themes that resonated with me was to sit in silence; to seek the still soft voice that comes.
As many of my friends know, my quiet time is in the shower. That is when I hear The Voice the most. Usually in prayer when the noise of the morning is drowned out. The kids are having breakfast, the dogs have been fed and there is the sound of coffee percolating in the distance... But.... With a broken ankle still on the mend... Showers at the moment are just another hazard- carefully seated on a bench; trying my hardest not to fall and delay my recovery. Hearing the voice or spending that time in prayer is not on the radar. Still something in me has been yearning for it. I try before I fall asleep at night or before my feet hit the floor and somehow it eludes me.
Tonight, with my friends text, I find my quiet place within the pages of Matthew. Joy... comes then.
Light of the world that cannot be hidden.
I turn to Philippians. I love the way Paul addresses his church. His genuine love for the people in them.
I thank my God for ever remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy. He goes on to say, I have you in my heart...
What love inside the body of Christ Church... I want to love like that.
Paul also talks about being light of the world...
Philippians 2:15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
I read about the joy in suffering, the joy in service, the joy in believing and the joy in giving.
There is joy and hope in those things...
It's in here where I find my two favorite passages in the Bible.
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in The Lord always. Again I will say rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with Thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding; will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
And... For this broken season I am in... A reminder to be content...
Philippians 4:11; 4:13
11 Not that I speak in regard to need for I have learned whatever state I am to be content.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for the day that you made and for your son who died on the cross for my sins. I also thank you for the country I love, where people are free from oppression and fear of worshipping you. Lord, I know you are within those other countries where Christians are being marked for death, protect them and give them a way out.
For myself, I come before you tonight in need of hearing your still soft voice. I am sorry I have let our time get away from me. Be with me as I seek you again. Thank you for the remembrance of light... Thank you for shining through the darkness and for allowing me to somehow be a spark of light. You are patient and loving with me and I am thankful. Lord show me the path you'd have me walk and light that way. Amen