I like visiting lighthouses. Not many are open to the public anymore, but just seeing one standing strong on the shore gives me a feeling of peace and safety.
Lighthouses create a focus for sailors looking for a port. Sailing in the dark, the shore is nearly impossible to see, and trying to navigate in a storm makes it even worse. The sight of a solid, stable light is a joy to the sailor, leading the storm-tossed to safety.
I usually think of a lighthouse as a building, but there are people who are lighthouses too. Friends, family members, even strangers who grace us with their light in our darkness, leading us to that same sense of peace and safety.
For me, Mary was one of those people.
I met her at the pediatricians office. My nine-month-old foster daughter had been in and out of that office a lot, struggling with colds or runny noses that quickly progressed to hoarse coughs and wheezing.
Two days before Christmas, we were back again.
Finally, the diagnosis came. My daughter had asthma. The doctor handed me an order for a nebulizer machine, and a prescription for medicine to put in it. Ummm. Ok. But I have no idea how to get this, or how to use it…
Back at home, I started calling local pharmacies, but none of them sold the machine. With only two days until Christmas, I knew if I didn’t connect with a vendor soon, the holiday weekend would delay treatment even further.
I finally contacted the doctors office and nervously explained my problem. The billing office set me up with a nurse visit the next day.
That nurse was Mary, and she gave me a beautiful Christmas present. She guided me through the insurance process, found two medical equipment stores (open on Christmas Eve!) and showed me how to use the nebulizer machine. When I got back to the car, I just cried. I was so relieved.
This nurse was so helpful and so kind. I was lost and drowning in a sea of anxiety. I was beside myself trying to soothe a sick baby, be present to my two other children, somehow prepare for Christmas, and to top it off, I couldn’t find the equipment I needed. I was definitely in a storm. But I didn’t go under thanks to Mary. She was my lighthouse.
I’m sure she thought she was ‘just doing her job’, but to me, she was a beacon of hope. Lighthouses are like that. In the middle of a storm, they stand strong and immovable.
‘Common courtesy’. ‘Just doing my job’. Well, it might look like that. But Mary showed me that everyday acts of kindness can change lives.
All of us have the ability to be a steady light in a storm. Just being who God created you to be, and sharing it, qualifies you as a beacon of hope.
So stand strong, and let your light shine, because somebody needs you today.
I wonder who it will be?
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