Last night my Torbie cat, Georgia, attacked our sliding glass door. It’s not something she does a lot, but on occasion we have a visiting feline that she takes issue with.
When that intruder appears on the other side of the glass, she goes after it, however unsuccessfully.
But last night when I heard her scratch at the glass pane, I didn’t see the offending cat. Yet Georgia kept peering outside. I knew she saw something out there.
I got down on my hands and knees near where Georgia had stationed herself, trying to make out in the dim light what was under our patio furniture keeping her rapt attention.
Then I spied a furry lump in the darkness under a patio chair. I could tell it was breathing since the fur was moving up and down. That was no cat.
I called my husband to take a look. He opened the bright flashlight feature on his phone and that little creature scurried away like a shot.
In a split second I reacted and flew outside to follow it. It was nowhere to be seen. I halted and began to move stealthily from a chair to the ottoman to the other chair to the sofa.
We have covers on our outdoor furniture since it’s not quite warm enough to take them off, so I decided to chance it and shake the covers to see if anything would pop out.
That did the trick.
Out from under a chair hurried a large, gray thick-tailed, bug-eyed rat. It rushed across the patio and I screamed. It ran into the corner and up the fence.
I approached it and made some strange sounds. I thought I might make it leave our yard and head back into the forest, or from wherever it came.
It scratched it’s way down the fence post and ran across the path right in front of me. I screamed again. It skittered across the rocks, under our rosemary bush and out of sight.
Loving the Light
Rats love the darkness and fear the exposure that the brightness of light brings. It can be the same with people.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.John 3:19-21
The Light of the World came to dwell in us. To make our darkness light. To shine out from within us to a hurting world.
John the Baptist was a burning, shining lamp that shone on the path leading to Jesus. (John 1:6-8; 5:35)
Jesus said that we, too, are lights that shine for him if we believe.
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 in heaven.Matthew 5:14-16
Gifts in the Light
My close encounter with the rat last night reminded me that we have nothing to fear from the light.
That little creature reacted by instinct. It assumed that exposure meant danger.
It had no way of knowing that I would not have harmed it.
Thankfully, the Bible never compares us to rats. But we sometimes act like they do, running from light that would help us, not harm us.
Forfeiting the joy and freedom of exchanging or darkness for light.
Ignoring the opportunity to be a shining, burning lamp that brings glory to God and pleasure from him.
Dear Jesus, give us the grace to come to you into the light. Shine your beams of love into our darkest places. Cleanse us and make our hearts into lamps that burn brightly for you. For your glory and for our good. Amen.