To Be A Lighthouse




Before the first lighthouse was built, beacon fires were lit as we see in the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as in the stories and movies for “The Lord of the Rings”. It would be in Alexandria that the first lighthouse would be built. Known as Pharos of Alexandria, this first lighthouse stood 350 feet high.


The Romans would go on to build many more as their empire expanded far beyond Rome. A fragment of a Roman lighthouse still exists in Dover, England.


black-and-white-building-dark-722664Century by century modernization of lighthouses occurred to the present day, lighting the way for those out to sea, serving a vital purpose.


Long before GPS guided navigation, these sentinels stood at the place where the land and the sea meet, never wavering in their service with the faithful men and women who kept the beacons lit.


I have visited lighthouses along the east coast of the United States while on various vacations. Some of my favorites mark the beautiful coast of Maine. Each lighthouse appears unique in its design and the terrain on which it stands. My favorites include Bass Harbor Lighthouse, the Cape Neddick Light, and Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Maine.


If all the stories linked to each lighthouse were compiled into books, I wonder how many architecture-coast-light-131102volumes there would be and how many shelves would be needed to hold them.


Reading in Lisa Wingate’s marvelous book, The Prayer Box, set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina brought back memories of lighthouses we visited there and reminded me once again that we, you and I, are called to be light (perhaps lighthouses) for those lost at sea.


The description Lisa Wingate pens in The Prayer Box reminds me of important truths:


“What does a lighthouse do? I ask myself. It never moves. It cannot hike up its rocky skirt and dash into the ocean to rescue a foundering ship. It cannot calm the waters or clear the shoals. It can only cast light into the darkness. It can only point the way. Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships.”


 What clarity these words bring to those we find in Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV):


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”


beach-dawn-desktop-backgrounds-1532771The lighthouse isn’t rushing about from one place to another. It stands consistently where its designer places it and its light points the way. Those at sea are the ones that must move to avoid disaster and destruction.


To be a lighthouse is to keep the light burning even if we do not see beyond the place we stand. To be a lighthouse is to know the singular call to provide light when darkness, dense fog, and storms would seek to shroud the light. To be a lighthouse is to draw attention to the light within it rather than the lighthouse.


How simply these truths remind us of what it means to be called by Jesus to be light, but how clearly they also underscore the need for light to be ever emanating from our lives. We never know when someone lost in darkness may be hoping to glimpse even the smallest light to give direction and hope.


Near the end of his earthly ministry Jesus told his disciples a parable about how vital it is to keep the light (the oil) in our lamp from running out, from going dark. The parable in Matthew 25 speaks of wise virgins whose lamps are filled and lit, but also warns of foolish virgins whose lamps have gone dark.


Tending the light within us is not a casual admonition.


Let us not forget that even though we may not see those who are searching for a light, we are called to be a lighthouse consistently allowing HIS  light to shine so He can be seen.


“Yet, through one lighthouse, you guide many ships.”

Lisa Wingate













22 thoughts on “To Be A Lighthouse

  1. Thanks so much for linking up at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty 36! Shared x 3 ♥

  2. We’ve visited some of the same lighthouses in Maine. Jeff and I visited Maine a few months before Riley was born. It was sitting by one of the lighthouses that we made our grandparent commitments to God and each other. I bought a little lighthouse souvenir that I keep on my dresser next to Riley’s picture to remind me. Thanks for sharing this meaningful post, Pam!

    1. What a precious memory and story, my friend. Soon you will need to put that little souvenir between Riley’s picture and the new baby sister’s. Thanks for your kind words.🌹

  3. We are to draw attention to the Light. Simple but challenging!

    I love Lisa Wingate books!

  4. I want to be where that last picture was taken! Absolutely gorgeous! Being a light to the world emanates the beauty of God’s love. Thanks for that reminder, Pam.

  5. I have always loved and had a draw to light houses. Thank you for your beautiful post and sharing it with To Grandma’s House We Go. I’ll be featuring it next week.

    1. There is something very special about them for sure! Thanks for your kind comments and for sharing next week!😊

  6. Pam, I absolutely love this. At this stage in my life I can’t run around like I used to. The thought of being a lighthouse and letting his light shine through me is refreshing.

  7. Sooner or later, we hope to get to Maine. I do love lighthouses … and I will save this post as a little guide for when we get there. The book sounds good, too, friend.

    What a lovely visit here with you on this cloudy New England morn’ …

    1. It is worth the trip. We have not been there in quite a few years (our kids were still living at home🙄), but went in part to have a brief visit with a friend with whom I was teaching at the time who is from Maine originally. She still has a camp near Phillips, ME, in the mountains, but we traveled up the coast from MA as far as Arcadia National Park.

      I have just recently discovered Lisa Wingate’s novels and LOVE her writing. I have been reading the Carolina Heirloom Series: The Prayer Box, The StoryKeeper, and The Seaman’s Daughter.

      Did you see Patti Callahan has a new book coming out next month (Favorite Daughter)?

      It’s a cloudy Midwest afternoon after a sunny AM in OH, but we have had a great deal of rain and have more to come (nearly each day for at least a week).


  8. I love lighthouses and have visited many of the ones in the Outer Banks area of NC. Hatteras is my favorite.

    Your words are fitting for this Easter season but also for the season of life I’m in. God calls us to shine brightly for Him. When I was pushing people away, I was losing focus on the beautiful light that God graced me with in my own life. Thank you for your words and I loved The Prayer Box

    1. They are fascinating I think. We have not been to the Outer Banks in quite a few years, but would like to return there. I have been reading Lisa Wingate’s Carolina Heirloom Series. The Prayer Box is the first of those. Not sure if you have read the other two (The Storykeeper and The Seaman’s Daughter), but they are also delightful.

      I think we can forget about the light He has placed within us and its purposes and how it doesn’t mean we need to get caught up in doing and running about.

      Have a blessed day, Mary💕

  9. Love this, we are to walk in the light as He is in the light. For He is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Good Word 1 John chapter 1. I just read that this morning.

    1. Thanks, Lynnette!! Have a blessed day! Have missed seeing you. We need to get together again soon.❤️

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