I am eight years old.
Night is falling.
And I am walking with my dad as I often do.
He holds my hand and makes up stories as I walk beside him along the country lane. We see a harvest moon overhead and he recites poetry as our feet step step through little puddles and splash the light.
This is England, and rain is a constant companion, even during the summer. We have at least two more miles to walk before we reach home. But the time will go fast because I am with my dad, and we are hunting, our eyes downward, our steps careful.
And if we keep looking, we see them hiding in the bushes, tiny magical lights that glow in the darkness, and will accompany us all the way home. We have found glow worms.
Almost four decades later I fly to the USA for the first time and I step outside the back door on a warm summer's evening and I cannot believe what I see. The entire back yard is filled with tiny twinkling lights, flying and flickering all around. I am amazed. I have never seen fireflies before. I feel like I am in a Disney movie. And my husband and our four sons watch them, utterly fascinated, for a long, long time.
Two years ago, I sit in a beautiful boat and I sail across water with my friends. The moon overhead is our guide and the stars our companions. We are night sailing, and it is breathtaking.
Just a few weeks ago I sit on the beach with more friends when the sun has gone down, and everyone else has left. And I think how sad it is that they have missed the best part. Because in the darkness I see the moon reflected and dancing on waves and stars appear from nowhere and lights from boats travel unaided as if suspended above water.
And I think about all the beauty that is to be found when darkness falls...like fireworks, or constellations, or lightning, or fireflies, or tiny glow worms that accompany us all the way home...
And I want to be one of those lights that shine in the darkness for a child.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5