Night Vision: What Can You See in the Dark?


This field was behind a hotel we stayed in a few weeks ago.

Though it may not look like anything particularly special, this field held a wonderful secret. At nighttime, at least on the nights we were there, this field came alive with fireflies.

I consider myself sort of a firefly connoisseur. I spent a significant portion of my childhood running around at dusk with the kids in my neighborhood, capturing fireflies and stuffing them into milk jugs. It was an official team activity, and we took it pretty seriously. So, yeah, I’ve seen some things when it comes to fireflies…  

But I’ve never seen that many in one place. I mean, really, it was incredible. As the sky grew darker, more and more fireflies seemed to congregate, dazzling the otherwise unremarkable field with a sparkling light show.

In the light of the sun, these fireflies were nowhere to be found. Or at least, they weren’t noticeable. In the dark, though, they glittered and glowed as they danced through the air in droves. It was breathtaking.

Sometimes, in the darkness, we come to understand things about the light that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We see new, beautiful, awe-inspiring things; things that’ve been there all along, but only become evident when the distraction of the surrounding light fades.

And here’s the thing about light in the darkness: a little goes a long way.

Last week there was a storm in the middle of the night. Both the kids woke up, afraid, during this storm. I had just gotten them settled back down when the power went out. This meant no night-lights and no hallway light – total and utter darkness.

And, consequently, total and utter panic.

They both screamed and clung to me. It was clear they wouldn’t be sleeping in their own beds, so we began making our way down the hallway to Mommy and Daddy’s room. (I probably looked ridiculous, inching through the darkness, fumbling around to find my way, with a kid wrapped around each leg. But that’s besides the point.)

As we got closer to our room, we could see a beam of light coming from inside.

A little voice shouted, “The lights are back!” Then both kids sprinted toward the light, which turned out to be the glow from the (battery powered) baby monitor. The lights weren’t back on, we realized, but that tiny bit of light was noticeably bright under the circumstances.

There are times when light is easier to see in the darkness.

I’m not saying darkness is good. But I am saying we can find purpose there, if only we keep our eyes open, and pursue the light we can see – even if it’s just a glimpse.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5 (ESV)

More on this topic to come…

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