A firefly is a miniature beacon of God’s handiwork.
My older sister and her family just moved into a new house. It sits on the furthest edges of town. Last week, in all its splendor, the sunset was fully visible from their front yard as the city has not yet grown up around their piece of paradise. While I was surveying the sky and color changes, my 4.5 year old nephew asked what I was doing. I told him I was watching the sky go from day to night and asked him if he wanted to stand with me. Completely blessed, he came out and stood by my side, telling me all the colors he was seeing, the first star (which we explained was Venus), and about the night time bugs. This brought out the most excitable commentary (almost as cool as trains) to date.
In reality, he has probably never seen a firefly…I could be wrong. It’s happened before. But in his excitement, he announced in his best outside voice that fireflies come out at night and that they glow. Knowing that 4.5 year olds observe many things (thank you science discovery, Disney, and national geographic), but aren’t always sure of what they see, I asked him what it looked like. He just said it was a flying bug, a “firefly” and it was all lit up. At that moment, my heart reached the “Grinch” size. You know it — the one where the Grinch’s heart swells so large it breaks the boundaries of the tiny, wire picture frame and his face twists into the happiest grin you’ve ever seen? That was the one. (You should be smiling SO BIG right now. I believe the term is grinning like an idiot.)
Whether or not that little guy has ever seen a firefly, only Jesus knows. What I do know is that God was whispering to me the importance of remembering what it feels like to be filled with his creation and an unbiased perspective. To love him and appreciate his glory as if I were a child in discovery mode. Why? The eyes of a child see SO MUCH! The smallest things bring them joy. The fact that there is a train track in the fields near my nephews house brings him immeasurable delight (this kid really loves trains). The belief that he has seen a real firefly, watched Venus “appear” as a star in the sky, and grandpa’s phone can show him a bunch of stars he can’t see, lights up his eyes and fills him with curiosity. God’s handiwork (in this case, the firefly, the stars, etc.) and the technology he has bestowed upon humanity to build and create (aka trains and tracks) are completely obvious to children. The joy produced in this rediscovery generation after generation, miraculous!
What’s the point? God whispers to us day in and day out, a constant stream of communication through the Holy Spirit, saying things like “Hey Erin, look at this! Isn’t it amazing! I LOVE you!” . Beacons of his handiwork, his messages, and his love are all over the place. It doesn’t matter how God brings it to your attention (let’s face it– God in all his perfection does what he wants, speaks through who he wants…because what he wants is glorious and perfect)- what’s important is that he does. He uses your loves, your joys, and the things that lift your emotional temperature gauge (like Scripture & Bible Studies, friendships, children…) to bring you face to face with him.
How is God “speaking” to you? What beacon has he sent out, calling your attention to himself through his Spirit?
God whispered to me through a 4.5 year old boisterous boy (that I simply adore) who knew in his heart (and I believe him) he had seen a firefly.
John 14:16-17 (The Promise of the Holy Spirit) NCV
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you.