The Light Within

"what is essential is invisible to the eye" Antoine de Saint-Exupery




I encountered the magic of fireflies for the first time in my late twenties. I had been invited to stay with a friend in a house in the country one summer. By the time we arrived and settled in the sun was going down. I was drawn to the window and as I looked out I discovered flashes of light dancing around the row of evergreens stretched out before me — fireflies.

Years later, I actually caught a firefly for the first time. It was with our children in our backyard. To be honest, it was a bit of surprise. I had observed these magical creatures from afar, charmed by their light. Up close, they looked like an ordinary brown beetle. At first glance, it was easy to miss the power within them.

Intrigued by their unique properties, scientists have discovered the power within a firefly. All creatures, including humans, have a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). However, unlike us, bioluminescent creatures like fireflies also have lucuferin and luciferase. When the time is right and these three chemicals combine with oxygen, light is produced.

We may not be hardwired to glow like the firefly but I do believe there is a power available to us. It is more than inner strength or will power. It is not marked by success, circumstance or the approval of others. There is something else that makes us shine.

Michelangelo is often quoted as having said that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue. There is a work of art within. The author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


There is something within you; a unique blend of qualities and abilities that only you have to offer.

I believe it is the imprint of the divine within us. This is what is essential. Scripture tells us that we are “God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us.” (Eph 2:10,NLT) If that is true, then our power comes from him.

What special blend lies within you?