I leaned closer, my hand between the window and my face so I could see the city beneath our wingtips. I am sure I looked like a child, but it did not matter; I was fascinated. We were flying in a sea of darkness, but underneath was a forest of lights, like stars, almost as if the world had flipped and we were looking down at the sky.
Seeing the lights clustered together like an army against the darkness, I was encouraged about our own fight against darkness—we the believers, the lights of the world. I thought of my churches back home. I thought of all the Christians who are determined to be effective and unshakable in a dark world. I was strengthened as we passed over the city, full of bright, shining testimonies. I was glad to be part of such a grand battle scene.
My head leaned sideways against the oval window as I sat thinking. Past the city we flew, toward the outskirts. There the lights became sparse, not so commanding, not so indomitable. A few more miles and I saw no lights at all. My heart fell. The mission field. So much darkness, so few to light the way.
Here and there, I looked down to see a small patch of lights, together against the foe, strong though weak, faithful though few. I thought of the missionary groups who strive in dark countries and struggle to spread the light. I thought of the national Christians I knew. I thought of the huge percentage of those lost, and with a shudder I pictured a dark, dark land with so little light.
I understand a little better now why I grieved when I looked at the tiny patches of light: I miss the place where lights abound, so strong that you forget the darkness as you look at them. I miss being around many believers. Somehow I feel like it uses up more energy, more fuel, to shine where there are so few lights and so great a darkness. I really want to be home, in churches ready to be involved in spreading light. I want to talk to soldiers who are rejoicing in victory, not just those that are overwhelmed and needing support.
I want to be the best light I can be, but sometimes I feel like I am running on empty. I love being on the field, but I feel like my batteries need recharging.
Hmm, that too is saddening. I have been looking to the lights instead of the Source of light. I am to run to my Savior for help in time of need, not the familiar sanctuary of other believers. I am to shine by the Spirit, not by might or power.
My hand drops from the window and my eyes leave the darkness below. I reach for the Word and look into the Light. It is time to do something about those dead batteries.