Mesmerized at Club Firefly
By David Ramos
I’m in Moca, Puerto Rico, and after closing the aluminum shutters, and turning the lights out, its pitch black. Moca, among other things, is famous for bats and some random “chupa cabra” sightings. I try to settle into bed and go to sleep, I shut my eyes for a while and when I open them I see this strange apparition, I see this glittering light above me. “What the heck is this?” I think; is this some kind of theophany? Just before I mutter, “Speak Lord, your servant listens.” I realize that a firefly has somehow gotten caught in my bedroom and is frantically bouncing off the ceiling. I watch in amusement and then begin to fade into a flashback.
The year is 1999 I’m living in Princeton, New Jersey and finishing up seminary. There is a lot on my mind and heart as I contemplate the future. I’m oscillating from past, present and future as I contemplate the last three years, its meaning, the friendships I’ve developed there, as well as what the near future holds. I decide to take a drive and meditate.
I love country back roads, while in Princeton I would go out of my way to find and take the most isolated paths possible. I would take these dark, foggy “Friday the 13th” looking roads at night, much to the consternation of my loving wife who would tolerate my childlike need for adventure. On this particular night I am alone, melancholic, and driving about 10 miles per hour in the dark. While a host of issues are playing in my heart I stumble upon one of the most beautiful events I have ever witnessed. On my left, in a large clearing, there is one of the most spectacular light shows I have ever seen, a large field full of thousands of fireflies! Unbeknown to humankind, these frisky critters would all meet at “club firefly” and party the night away! I pulled off the road, sat on the hood of my car and watched in utter amazement at the sheer beauty of nature’s own discothèque. They looked so happy, dancing the night away, oblivious to any of the pressing life problems of the hour. I was filled with joy and felt blessed to have witnessed God’s creation and such a moment.
Fireflies are unique because their light comes from within and shines outward. My pitch-black bedroom could not quench the light of that single firefly. Perhaps God was reminding me that regardless of how dark it gets that we are called to be the light of the world, called to shine in the darkness. Our light does not come from ourselves but emanates from the God within us. Whether in total freedom in some large spacious “cornfield” with many people, or feeling alone, trapped or cramped in some stifling room or space, we are called to shine. Our lives give testimony of the light of God and often grants hope for others who are witnessing the light show. As I watched that firefly bounce off the ceiling and remembered “club firefly,” I can’t help but think that God gets a kick at watching his children light up the world and joyfully dance through life. Hey, maybe it was a theophany after all.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” II Corinthians 4:6