Monday, October 27, 2008

Gospel According to Lightning Bugs

A Texas firefly, commonly referred to as a "lightning bug" by the locals, lofted his way across a field of flowers late one evening. Like hundreds of other lightning bugs, this little guy's tail was flickering on and off, punching occasional holes in the darkness.

The tiny Texan with the glowing tail was suddenly carried away by an enormous gust of wind made by the engines of an airplane lifting off from a nearby airport. The gust blew the tiny firefly into the cargo area of an airplane that was being boarded by travelers to Siberia! But he didn't know that.

Before the little lighted Texan could disembark, the cargo doors closed and the engines started. The little lighted insect lit on a suitcase and waited for the doors to open again. He waited and waited and waited. He slept. He explored. He slept again. Finally, the engine noise stopped and the cargo doors opened.

With less than a two-inch opening, the excited lightning bug flew out of the airplane, ready to shout, "I'm freeeeeee!" But as soon as he hit the outside air, his shout changed to, "I'm freeeeeezinggggggggg!"

He flew this way and that way, looking for a warm place. His sensors picked up on warmth coming from a nearby truck. The firefly flew into the truck just before the door closed. The truck was warm and the firefly was scared.

By the time the truck stopped, it was dark outside. The door of the truck opened and the firefly flew out into the darkness, instinctively using his tail in hopes of signaling fellow fireflies as a call for help.

It was terribly dark and bitterly cold. Even though it was springtime in Siberia, his little body was shivering against the cold. The little lightning bug kept flashing his tail as he flew about aimlessly in the dark. A high-pitched bug voice cried out from a bush, "Look at that! That strange looking bug has a tail light!"

Suddenly the Texas lightning bug was surrounded by big-headed bugs with large eyes and small bodies. He had never seen anything like it. They had never seen anything like him. They were completely enamored with his bright backside.

The Siberian big-headed bugs were enthralled by his light. He told them he was cold so they gave him a warm leaf to wrap himself in. He told them that he was a firefly. They had never heard of such a thing. No one in Siberia had ever seen a firefly.

However, the ancient prophecies passed down from generation to generation of the big-headed Siberian bugs spoke of a bug who would one day bring light to the villages of the big-heads. It was obvious to the Texas firefly that they believed HE was the fulfillment of that prophecy.

He tried to tell them he was just a regular bug and there were millions more just like him back in the United States, but they never really listened to him. They were too busy celebrating their new celebrity. The lightning bug was adored, worshipped, and villified throughout the big-headed bug kingdom.

Everyone wanted to get close to the firefly. Everyone cheered the firefly. Everyone brought him gifts and treated him like a king. He was even given his own private and cozy bed chambers. The little lightning bug never felt bigger. He thought for the first time that he was truly loved and appreciated.

One of the chief big-headed bugs grew a bit jealous of the new guy. One day, he waited until the lightning bug celebrity was asleep and snuck into his private chambers. The big-wig big-headed bug touched the tail of the sleeping firefly and discovered that flecks of the flourescent light rubbed off onto his own tentacles.

He emerged from the chambers of the firefly glowing from tentacle to tentacle. Soon, every big-headed bug wanted to touch the firefly. The noise awakened the lightning bug and he stepped outside to see what was happening.

A mob of big-headed bugs moved toward him. What started as affectionate, tender touching of the lightning bug's light turned to mauling. Everyone grew greedy for a piece of the light.

When the frenzy was finished, the firefly was unconscious on the ground. He was bleeding. His wings were spread straight. Almost unnoticeable was a tiny stick underneath the fallen firefly that stretched from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. A second stick intersected the first, starting under the stunned firefly's head and poking out from under his tail. Only a flicker of light remained in his tail. As the other bugs watched, the firefly died and the tiny remaining light in his tail dimmed to darkness.

The big-headed bugs never really wanted to get to know the firefly. Nor did they ever want to know and understand the truth of his light. They only wanted to feel the light.

I wonder how many people really only want to feel Christ or rub up against His light rather than know Christ and be changed by His light and His love.

Hoping to Enlighten You,
Perry Crisp

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