Imperfect Lighthouse, Perfect Light: Meditation on Psalm 63 and Isaiah 30

Crooked Lighthouse of SSB

The lighthouse may be imperfect but the Light of my Lord is always perfect. It always shines, but it is brightest in the darkness, when others most need the Light. With patience and stillness, the soul gradually builds the lighthouse through which the Light shines.

When my soul was an infant, my Lord carried and caressed it and took care of all its needs, filling it with wholesome, easy to digest nourishment.

When my soul was a child, my Lord set me on my feet and made me walk, holding my hand, picking me up when I fell, carrying me over the rough bits. I learned to chew and meditate upon the food that nourished.

When my soul was a teen, my Lord let go of my hand and made me climb the hills, pick myself up when I stumbled or fell. I injured myself, felt sorry for myself, pouted and demanded that my Lord continue to comfort me. My Lord held me, then set me back on my feet and told me to try again.

When my soul was a young adult, my Lord told me to “wait”, “be patient” but let me make my own decisions. I wanted to run, to jump, to fly. I flew too high, relying on my own wings and crashed. My Lord picked me up and said, “wait”, “be patient”. “Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” (Ps 4:4 NASB) Then my Lord left me in spiritual darkness.

When my soul endured the darkness, my Lord was always with me though I did not feel or see the Presence. I screamed, kicked, fought, tried to bargain and bribe my way back into the Light. I cried in my loneliness and ranted in my self-centeredness. When I at last wore myself out trying on my own, I rested. I waited. I listened in silence. In the darkness of night under the shadow of my Lord’s wings, I learned to sing for joy. (para Ps 63:7-8)

When my soul matured enough to joyfully seek reliance on my Lord alone and not on myself, I noticed the burning ember buried deep within me that had always been there. I turned toward the Light and became Light-centered. Then, my Lord whispered in my soul, “tend the flame”.

When my soul tended my Lord’s flame, I rejoiced and in over-eagerness piled on fuel and dampened the glow. I rested. I waited. My Lord fanned the embers into flame. Then my Lord said, “build a lighthouse around the Light”.

When my soul was quiet and confident in the Light, my Lord showed me how to build the lighthouse: pull the weeds, enforce the foundation, build strong bonds. When I thought I was ready, I shined the Light. The tower crumbled and the Light diffused through all the cracks. My lord said “by waiting and by calm, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.” (para: Is 30:15) In silence and patience, I mortared and repaired the shortcomings of my edifice. Much work was needed.

When the lighthouse was patched, I tried to shine the Light again. No Light shone through the dirty windows. I cleaned and polished the windows. In quiet and in trust I waited. And my Lord said, “now”.

When my Lord built up the flame and the Light shone, I rejoiced and wanted to run along the shore and shout and let everyone see. And my Lord said, “stop”. “Stay still. A lighthouse is only useful if it stands still and shines. IT IS NOT THE LIGHTHOUSE, BUT THE LIGHT THAT MATTERS”.

When my soul stood still, the light of my Lord shone purposefully, guiding passers-by to safety toward the next step of their journey. I saw the Light of other lighthouses of which I was only one in the chain. Each lighthouse has it’s own unique light signature and pattern but, together, all serve the same purpose. Maintain the sturdy foundation, pull the weeds, repair the holes, polish the windows. Stand still, solid in every storm. LET the Light shine.

The Light of my Lord always shines but it is brightest in the darkness, when others most need the Light.


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