Last night a thunderstorm broke over my house. It woke me up. The flashing lightning and the booming thunder led me out of bed. Although it was about 2:00 in the morning, I slipped into my jeans, pulled on a t-shirt, and walked out onto the porch. The rain came down in sheets – a Kansas “toad strangler.” The wind mussed my hair, and the rain wet my feet. The spectacle was just beginning. Stabs of lightning cracked between the clouds. Thunder shook the house. I took a sheltered seat and watched.
In the midst of it all, one defiant lightning bug struggled against the storm. His little light burned bright, flashing on and off as he dodged left and right. The harder it rained, the brighter he glowed. Behind him, in the sky, ragged daggers of blazing light flashed. Below, dodging the raindrops, his tiny glow burned bright.
Of course, it was hopeless. None of his kin were to be found. They had either been washed away or had sensibly taken shelter under the leaves of the tree in my front yard. Still, my little friend pressed on. Suddenly he was dashed to the sidewalk. Still, he tried to flash his light. His glow grew dark, and I would have sworn he was finished, but then he defiantly blazed again.
It was hopeless. The winds pinned him to the ground, and it was only a matter of time before he would drown. Why didn’t he just give up? Why did he continue to struggle? Then his tail blazed in glory again. He couldn’t move. He certainly couldn’t fly, but he let his light shine brighter than ever. My tiny friend embodied courage and perseverance. Glow bug glow! On. Off. On. Off. Brighter, then fading away. The inevitable moment came. After a heroic struggle, sadly, he was gone. The soaking wet sidewalk sank back into darkness. I sat back in my chair, and the steam from a mug of hot coffee swirled before me.
“Lord, is there a lesson to be learned from this drama?” I sat for a long time in silence. The booming thunder punctuated my thoughts. Then I began to sing a song from my childhood.
“This little light of mine.
I’m gonna let it shine!”
Lord, I would like to believe you gave my little friend a new life. Perhaps in glory, his tiny bioluminescent tail has been replaced with lightning bolts of glory in the heavens. Meanwhile, that childhood song has a new meaning for me. Big or small, let your light shine!