Almost every school year I am asked by students why I have so many lighthouses in my classroom.
Looking around I can count 8 different objects that are lighthouse themed. Several are ceramic reproductions, two are pictures, one is a clock and one of my favorites is a wooden version with a working light in the top. Most are gifts from family (who know my penchant for these edifices) so they have great value beyond their physical presence.
I think the attraction began when I was young but it really took flight as I grew older and began to understand what a lighthouse represented.
Mariners all over the globe rely on the rays cast out by these majestic towers to guide them back to the ones they love. Without the help provided, many a crew would be lost and torn to pieces on the rocky shores of this world.
Yet, it is more than that.
Almost without exception, lighthouses are built in places where few would choose to live. The sea around is rough and merciless – often impeding access by those who need to maintain the delicate systems. Still, the keeper serves and cleans and repairs his equipment so it can shine brightly to those in need.
The job of the lighthouse keeper is thankless and lonely. Many fail to realize he is there until they need him. But if slack in his duties, the absence is quickly apparent.
And the light shines on and on, all through the darkness of night, guiding the weary traveler to his home and the love of his family.
It is easy to apply the principles of the lighthouse and its keeper to our own lives. An obvious connection is that we have the Great Lighthouse who is constantly on guard to lead us back to our sacred heavenly home. He is so much to us and we can know that He is ever vigilant in cleaning, repairing and guiding us through the storms of mortality.
For me, it is even more than that.
I want to be a lighthouse!!!
My desire is to do more than exist as one of God’s children. There is light that can be shared with others that will protect them from the rocks and currents that can destroy lives. So I take the little light I have and hold it up as high as possible.
Maybe someone will see it – someone who is struggling.
And maybe I can do what He does in some small way.
I think this hymn catches the message quite well.
(click on the link below to listen.)
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore.
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning;
Send the gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In darkness may be lost.