Saturday, February 15, 2014

losing sight of heaven? trade fluorescents for fireflies

I'm having a hard time seeing heaven, are you? The world is dark and grimy lately with disease and war, and just yuck, but normally, I can see past that. Usually, I can see God.  Sure I can see him in nature, in the mountains, in the ocean, in my dogs, but normally I can see him other ways too. I can see him in his word, but even that is dim. It's dim because it doesn't seem to be taking flesh and becoming real through those of us that follow it. It's not shining light and life. It almost seems to be adding to the darkness. I can't see the kingdom of heaven of love and mercy shining through the darkness in this world, quite like I used to, and the light that is shining, is so harsh, so bright, but not in a good way. and forgive me as I muddle through metaphor, as we all appreciate different forms of light. But to me this is a harsh fluorescent light, that gives me a headache when I live under it for too long. My eyes start twitching as they struggle to make out the words on the page under the harsh glare, my photos come back with putrid greens and yellows and muddied clarity from this light. And when that light breaks it leeches toxins into the air. I want the light, but I want something gentler, something that draws me in instead of pushing me away.

We, who claim to follow Christ, we who read his word, we are to be bearers of a light filled with grace and love. We are to reflect the mercy we find in the pages of Jesus life. It's easy when we look at his word to get caught up in the harshness of the law, and the judgement. We can pick up the BIble and walk away haunted by images of that seemingly horrible, harsh God that ruins us in floods, thrashes us with plagues and spills the blood of innocent babes. It's so easy to forget in the face of those things, the tender moments of a loving father and friend. We forget that he protected the Israelites, making sure that even their clothes and shoes didn't wear out. We forget that he made Jonah live in the belly of a whale, because he refused to go to the sinning Ninevahites and tell them, that even they could be saved. We stop before we get to the climax, to the best part of the story, we forget JEsus. He came not in a warring chariot, but swaddling clothes. He didn't shout judgment at sinners, but at those who thought they could judge. He dined with the dirty, he touched the unclean. He loved first, and challenged later. He showed us that perfect love doesn't inspire, but casts out fear. It doesn't try and protect it's life, but lays it's life down.

Yet here we are. We are shouting and shining this fake light. We are yelling about protecting our way of life, and we are forgetting about his. We fearfully shine our light on others and each other, pointing fingers and claiming to be showing the truth, but forgetting it ourselves. We shout judgements and laws and ideas, that have nothing to do with that most important commands, and the one you followed it with. We aren't helping others to see through the darkness or drawing them to the one true light, Instead in fear, we are just trying to blast it all with our own made up crap. We aren't reflections we are noisy, buzzing, irritating, flashing fluorescent bulbs of toxic chemicals.  When we fail, when we break, we leave not a trail of grace, but a harsh lingering poison.

I want to see heaven again! I want to see the light, the one that inspires love, and not fear. The light that draws you closer, that's magical and natural, that flows from the creator. I want to see fireflies. Is there any light more magical than lightening bugs? They flicker and fly through the sky and draw you in. You can;t help but want to catch them, to capture them, to have some light for yourself. They are so pure, so brilliant you just want to stare at them forever. They make the darkness bearable, you aren't so afraid of it anymore. And when you see hundreds of them together, you forget there was ever darkness at all. You wonder how this magic happened, you question it's creation, you want to know more.
my only source of firefly light west of the rockies is ironically fake

When you smash a firefly, it still glows. When you are a little kid and your regard for the life on insects is more about exploration than preservation, you find out you can rub the glow on you, and you glow too. When this world finally smashes me, through disease, or accident, or whatever, I don't want to leave a trail of toxin, I want to leave a glow.

God change me from a fluorescent light to a firefly. Stop me from pointing fingers, from shouting laws, and point me toward you. Let me reflect your love and your grace when I shine my light, so that my life, my story are a beautiful, magical reflection of you who created me, who loves me. Help me bring heaven to earth with my own little glow.

Fireflies at Ochanomizu, Artist: Kobyashi Kiyochika
 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
retrieved from, 2/15/14

No comments:

Post a Comment