Last night Dasen came home from work around 10:30 pm. I had finally finished a long day of home school, errands, meal making, clean-up, bedtime rountine, and writing an old friend. He invited me for a "romantic" walk down our driveway in the dark to retrieve the trash cans. I was less than thrilled. After 15 years of trying to explain to him what romance is, he clearly still did not get it. He took my hand and led me into the darkness, refusing to even let me turn the light on by the garage. "Let's take a walk in the darkness together, without any light" he said. I looked at the cloudy sky without moon or stars and felt a boost of bitterness surge in me. Remembering the words of a respectable speaker, I bit my tongue, weakly attempting to empower my husband rather than correct him. We headed into the night with a strong aroma of skunk encircling us. I clung to his arm as we couldn't even see the ground beneath our feet. A black shadow darted somewhere across our path and I shuddered before realizing it was a cat. The comfort of the famiilar was swallowed in the mystery of the unknown. I refused to let go of Dasen's arm even when we reached the trash cans. He graciously carried both trash cans in one arm, while allowing me to fiercing cling to the other. He chuckled as he realized anew that I am not always the brave girl whom I may pretend to be.
Slowly our eyes began adjusting to the night, and my clutch on his arm became more relaxed. We took a few steps on the gravel driveway turning back toward our beautiful home, and tiny, odd greenish lights showed us the path. Where the gravel met the grass, sporadically spaced, their were mystical illuminations. At first I thought my eyes were tricking me, or maybe somehow there were miniscule battery-powered luminaries placed there as some sort of odd prank. As we walked I saw the lights hold their glow for an extended period of time, then gradually fade and reappear. As we neared the house, I reached down into the utter darkness of the ground, unsure what I would feel, and I dug my fingers under the light and placed it securely in my palm with a closed fist. It was so dark that absolutely nothing of the object could be visualized in my own hand.
Upon reached the house I released the luminary into a tupperware container and saw a black, rather ugly, multi-segmented beetle, with a posterior tiny glow. How delightful, I thought, that God would take something so unbecoming and give it a radiance that lit our path. We were looking at a glowworm, a female version of the common male firefly. I've lived a rather urban life, and the only interaction I've had with glowworms is a plastic, stuffed toy ,my daughter was once given. I'd loved it then, not knowing it was a replica of a real creation.
Tonight I encouraged my daughters to be glowworms. There may be times in our lives when we can be a city on a hill, but I think mostly we may resemble glowworms. The radiance of Christ in our lives may take some time for strangers to see, and alone we may sometimes feel insignificant or unbecoming. Yet together as the universal Church we may form a luminary path marking the way to the One radiance who never dims.
Dasen is right... walking in the dark to retrieve trash cans is romantic. I'm so thankful to have a husband to pull me into the night, and to have a God who exchanges my bitterness with a marvelous mystery reaching into my mundane moments.