(Read how these photos of lightning bugs in a Kansas hay field were taken here.)
I tried and tried last night to take a picture of what I was seeing last night outside, but my cell phone camera wouldn't come through for me. So I posted this 2009 National Geographic picture to give you an idea.
As I looked out across my hay field, I could see the faint glow of hundreds and hundreds of lightning bugs hovering just above the surface of the grass--a very interesting sight in light of the fact it was the eve of Pentecost. It got me to reflecting on how we've heard the Pentecost story in Acts so many times, and I think we've come to expect that receiving the Holy Spirit is supposed to be some huge gonzo-dramatic rush of wind and hubbub, yet maybe the reality is, that it's more like hundreds of lightning bugs in the dark.
This has been an interesting time in my life. (You might have heard there's an old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times.") Being a part time seminary student and the letting go process of parts of my work life, have, on good days, been a little messy, and on bad days, anxiety provoking. What's interesting is that other people--including people who have nothing to do with the Church--keep referring to it in conversation as "your transition" and "transitioning." I come away from those conversations with this surreal feeling--they are literally referring to me in the 2nd and 3rd person in the same terminology as when a person switches gender. Then I think to myself, "Well, maybe it IS a little like what people feel like when they switch gender." I find myself passionate about new things, and less passionate about things that used to matter a lot. Granted, it's not hormones, but it is very, very visceral.
Yet perhaps this is how the Holy Spirit works within each of us--a lightning bug shining in fits and spurts, hovering over a dark field. When daylight comes, the lights are too small to notice. Perhaps it's only in the dark they can be discerned.