Friday, January 18, 2019
Again Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
Christ as light of the world, what metaphor best serves to explain? A candle, an oil lamp? Something we carry with us so help journey through darkness. A lighthouse, a beacon? Something we guides us around the dangers hidden within the darkness. A sunrise to forever cast aside the darkness? A pole star that orients us in our traveling through the darkness? Maybe each is needed; maybe all is needed to try to appreciate what it means that Christ is the light of the world.
Of late, from a perspective of looking back over a lifetime of light and darkness, I believe for me, and it may sound quite odd to most, the metaphor that is most apt for my experience is “fireflies”.
“Fireflies”. When I was a boy, a rather lonely boy, possibly one gifted with a contemplative peace found in solitude, I loved watching the fireflies in a summer night as they played in the field just beyond the fence. I would lean on that fence and just marvel at the pulsing, tiny lights as they danced in the night. Yes, I even captured a few in a glass jar so I might hold in my hands the “magic”. But I always soon set them free for imprisoning any form of life felt wrong to me, even then.
“Fireflies”. Years later, and I have told this story of my own version of Paul’s Road to Damascus experience. Deep into one of my darkest nights of chronic depression, I took a midnight stroll on a country lane. It was a stroll in which I talked over with the Lord if the emotional pain was too much to bear. Again I paused at a fence that enclosed a farmer’s pasture. And it was dark. The moon and stars dimmed by an overcast of dark clouds. But when the dark was at its darkest, that pasture near exploded with fireflies. The field was aglow and my soul soon after. And since that night, when I am in the darkness and in the darkest of times, when I pray my soul is comforted by angelic fireflies appearing. I think it is a blessing that the Lord sent to a lonely, contemplative boy … this glowing of light, these glowing stars, these fireflies that convince me that even in the darkness, the Light is present.
Christ declared, “I am the Light of the world.” I also believe Christ is the Light in the Darkness waiting to appear.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz