Over the summer, I surprised my daughters with a total room makeover. I built a frame to make their bunk beds look like a little cottage and added a tree on their wall and ceiling so my eldest daughter, on top, sleeps under the branches of a cherry tree. I also peppered the walls and ceiling with butterflies. In their little reading nook, a host of butterflies streams in from the window.
Some of the butterflies are glow-in-the-dark. So, at night, when I tuck my littlest girl into bed and turn out the light, shimmering butterflies peek in through the window of her little house. If she goes right to sleep, she drifts off to sleep with the soft glow still fresh in her mind.
I love the glow in the dark butterflies. There’s just something really cool about phosphorescence: the time release re-play of light lingering for hours after the light has gone.
But there are nights now, as the days are growing shorter, when we forget to turn on their bedroom light to “charge” the butterflies before bed. Those are sad nights. The butterflies rest silently on the walls, but we cannot see them in the dark.
That’s the essence of phosphorescence. It has to spend time in the light to shine in the dark, and it loses its brightness if it is in the dark for too long.
It struck me recently that I am phosphorescent, too. Not in a radioactive way, but in a spiritually-active way.
I have to spend time in the Light if I am going to shine in the darkness. And if I spend too much time away from the light, I will no longer shine.
I think this is why God calls us to constant connection with Christ.
If we are going to walk in the light as he is in the light (1 John 5:7), we have to abide in him (John 15:5). If I am going to shine in the darkness, I have to spend time in the light… His light.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
~ Matthew 5:14-16