Sunday, June 30, 2013

Piercing the Darkness

A friend posted this morning on Facebook a picture she had taken of a lighthouse. The morning was misty, the paint on the building had peeled and worn almost off with the surf, but there it stood.

The caption contained a quote from D.L. Moody: "We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine." 

That spoke to me. How many times in my life have I wanted to sound the fanfare and make people notice what I stood for, the message that has changed my attitudes and rescued me from myself? I have lost count. How many times have I wanted to grab someone and pull them out of danger? The tendency is still there to want to rescue, to want to fix people's problems. 

But the lighthouse tells me something different. 

Thanks to -Marcus- for his photo,
"Lighthouse at Dusk"
found at
The only purpose a lighthouse has ... is to shine. That's it; that's all. It doesn't head out into the storm itself to rescue ships in danger. It doesn't shoot a cannon to announce its presence (how many times have I shot my mouth off??? too many to count!! - and it's always ended by the person being more wounded than if I'd just kept quiet!) 

The lighthouse in itself is nothing. It doesn't matter how old it is, how good it looks, whether the paint is peeling or even worn completely off. What matters is the LIGHT. What matters is whether the light that is inside still works, because someday a life - or lives - will depend on it. Oh, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. However, the real treasure of the lighthouse is the constancy of that light. The lighthouse just stays where it is, come storm or high water, and holds the light high for all to see. It doesn't hide the light because someone in a nearby village complains, but the keeper actually keeps the windows clean and clear so that nothing hinders the message. "Danger. Rocks ahead!"

That light pierces the darkness. It cuts through the rain and the sleet. "A light that is set on a hill," Jesus said, "cannot be hidden." We don't need to strain and strive and grunt with effort to make it shine; it just shines! We don't need to do the search and rescue worker's job. We just need to let the light shine, to let that Light - the Light of the world - do His job. He does it best and doesn't need any help. 

We may not even know how many lives are rescued that way. We don't need to know. And it is not our responsibility to get out there and force people to make the choice we so long people to make. It is not our choice; it is theirs. And Jesus has been drawing and guiding people to Him far longer than we have been His light-bearers. He knows how best to reach someone. He alone can pierce the darkness. We need to trust that He will find a way.

All we are called to do is LET. LET the light shine. LIVE in relationship with Him on a day-by-day basis, and the effect of that life will automatically show. No matter where we are, no matter the circumstances. 

In fact, it is during the darkest night, the wildest of storms, that the Light within us will shine the brightest and reach people in peril.

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