I have seen many lighthouses along the shorelines of Michigan’s Great Lakes; so many that they have become more commonplace and expected rather than beacons of hope and safety, at least to me. Each and every town on the shoreline has at least one light that marks their port and there are many more set out on lonely points or spits of land, keeping a watchful eye over those on the water. This is their purpose and you can never really understand the security that a lighthouse provides unless you venture out onto the unknown waters. Those who crave the crashing waves would well be lost without them. They stand on the shore, ready with warning when storms are rough and relief when a journey has been long.
We all have a lighthouse or two in our lives. They signal warning when difficult times approach, and welcome when the road has been long and we are weary from travel. They are strong and resolute but often weathered from the years spent watching and waiting. They are quick and constant and reliable; ever hoping, ever praying that those they love will be safe out on the waters of the world. They can be our friends or someone in our family and often are our parents.
My wife and I never really understood what a parent goes through until we became parents ourselves. From our children’s first words to their first steps to their first days of school, and all of their other firsts, parenting has been a lesson in letting go. Being that constant, steady light of love and truth in their lives can be exhausting. They long to grow up so much faster than our hearts can let go. Soon enough they will be off on their own adventure somewhere…and we will still be shining – ready with a warning or a welcome – whichever is needed.
If you have a lighthouse in your life…look for their light, it will guide you. If you are a lighthouse…keep shining so they can find their way home.