When I was in college there was a guy who lived on my floor whose name was “Steve”. Steve was in none of my classes, did not play any sports and from what I could tell – had no hobbies or interests. In other words, we had nothing in common. To make matters worse, Steve was PAINFULLY shy. He simply would not talk. The only way you could have a conversation with him was if you asked questions that he could nod yes or no too. It did not take me long to realize that Steve and I were not going to be friends. After all, this was college and I was going to make lots of friends and have lots of fun and I certainly wasn’t going to let an introverted nodding mime hold me back from a social life. So, I did what most people do. When Steve came around, I politely said hello and ignored him. I thought he would eventually go away and gravitate towards the less talkative people or those who knew sign language.
He seemed to like being around me and my group of friends. Though he never talked, it was obvious he liked being there – as a silent observer of all that went on. I never understood Steve. I simply could not relate to him on any level. Though I wanted to not have to “deal with him”, I had to because he was always there.
As I laid in my bed one night, I kept thinking about Steve and why he kept coming around – but said nothing. As I pondered these thoughts, I could see a street light out the window and noticed a giant moth fluttering near it. I watched the bug for what seemed like a long time. I jokingly wondered if the street light was annoyed by the bugs constant presence. Then it hit me.
“When you let your light shine, the first thing you attract is the bugs”
Steve was a bug to me and he was attracted to our light. Maybe it was the light of Christ in us? Maybe it was the light of humor or social activity? Regardless, he came around as faithfully as a moth and it bothered me – until that night. After that night, I realized that bugs like the light and as long as the light is on – they will always be there. And that they only bother you, if you let them.
As I look back at my life and the people that have invested in me – I came to realize, I too, am a bug. I too, am a pest to others who have the light I so desperately want to be around. And only when they endure my presence, am I really able to grow. Now, when a bug flutters into my life, I smile. Instead of grabbing the nearest social flyswatter, I let them “land” on me. Instead of shunning them, I try my best to embrace them. Not out of pity, but because others have embraced me.
Jesus referred to Himself as the Light of the world. I get it now. The bugs of this world constantly landed on Him: Children, Samaritans, Women, Pharisees, Tax Collectors, Roman soldiers, Blind men, Lepers, Sick people, Gentiles, Prostitutes, Disciples, etc. On our best day, we are merely sinful bugs trying to land on a Holy Light. How did He handle them? He shined His light without preference and invited them to land. All of them.
- “And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’” (Mark 1:17)
- “And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me…’” (Mark 10:13-14)
- “And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here’” So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you.’” (Mark 10:49)
- “While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.” And He stretched out His hand and touched Him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately the leprosy left him.” (Luke 5:12-13)
- “Come unto Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)
We have a responsibility to shine our lights. We do not have the freedom to determine which bugs can flutter near us. We are to simply shine and allow the Light we have received to illumine pesty flight patterns. And just remember, as they frustrate you – so you have frustrated someone else.