I wasn’t able to put together posts for Holy Week until now. These posts are a bit after the fact, but I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful!
Where I am staying now in Ecuador, it is the pure country life. We are 3 hours from any city, and about an hour and a half from a real town. There are about 250 people living in the main pueblo area, and so there isn’t much of a nightlife. If you walk down the main street at 8pm, it’s hard to find more than a couple of lights on. The only sounds you can hear are the crickets and the river. People go to bed early and rise early.
So, as I am up til 11pm at night in my room, I happen to have one of the few lights going in the town. And guess what? All the bugs know it. I get moths of all types, mosquitoes, flying beetles, other UFOs, and the worst are the night wasps that I’ve heard pack an awful sting and which I don’t want to find out about. Even with mesh screens covering all the openings, the bugs still find a way in.
When I want to get rid of all the bugs at once, I have a method. I’ll turn on my cellphone flashlight and put it outside. Then I’ll turn off the lights in my room and wait for a few minutes. All the bugs that were inside fly happily to the cellphone outside, and then I go and get the cellphone, turn it off, and walk back in and close the door. Problem solved.
It’s because bugs that come out at night have a built in instinct to be guided by moonlight. That’s right, it’s built into their instinct to use the moon to guide them. So, when there are other lights nearby that are brighter to them than the moon, they get drawn to the other lights instead, by instinct. They can’t help it or do anything about it. It’s all built in.
One night here during Holy Week, the town lost power at about 8pm. The whole place was in pitch blackness, except one person, who has a restaurant, had a generator that she fired up. Her restaurant was the only place with light in the town, and I happened to be there at the time. She also happens to have a TV, and there also happened to be a big soccer game on: Ecuador versus Argentina. In a matter of 15 minutes, that little restaurant was filled to the brim with people mesmerized by the television. The whole entire village was in pitch darkness, and about 20 people filled this little restaurant. Because of the light.
We have something built into us that is attracted to light. If someone turns on a TV in the room, we are drawn to it. If someone takes out their tablet, our curiosity instincts are piqued and we have to take a look. Just look at kids with a computer or smartphone. We are built to be drawn to the light.
When Jesus says that he is the light, that is what he is saying: you are all drawn to me. There is something built into every person that draws you, and I am it. And on Good Friday, with all the lambs having been killed, after people have been judged, after the crucifixions have started, after judgmentalism and fear and mistrust and jealousy and anger have engulfed Jerusalem with a total darkness, there is one bright light shining: Jesus on the Cross. From the very bottom that can be experienced in this life, he is forgiving everyone, giving everything and all that he is away, and lifting everyone up. And it’s that light that attracts everyone, that mesmerizes everyone who looks at it.
It’s because we are each built to be drawn to the light.
Let yourself be drawn.
“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself.” (Jn 12:32)