Shine Like a Lighthouse

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 doctorΒ 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.Β 

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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60 thoughts on “Shine Like a Lighthouse

  1. Ceil” Beautiful words. We saw a lighthouse when we were on vacation. You are right when you say people can be lighthouses for us, Also, we can be one for others. May God bless you as you write.

    • Hi Cecelia! Thank you for your kind words about the post, and your blessing too. You are a lighthouse for me for sure πŸ™‚

      Hoping that we see the ones we need to share our lights,

  2. Good thoughts Ceil. It is important to realize all Christ-followers are to be lighthouses. We lived In Sandusky, OH for 5 years and were near Marblehead Lighthouse. While we could go to the top, it was no longer a working one. But what a beautiful idea of shining light so others can find their way.

    • Hi Bill! My brother often stops in Sandusky on his way to our neck of the woods, there’s a big water park there. He didn’t mention a lighthouse, but I bet it’s great. I haven’t ever been one, how fun to climb to the top!

      I know you are a bright light to your church.

    • Hi Freda! You’re so welcome! It was fun to think about Mary after all this time. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her kindness to me at a time when I was truly stressed.

      Sunday blessings to you!

    • Hi Elizabeth! It is fun to realize that we can let our lights shine, just like a tall, beautiful lighthouse. I think that’s what God would want us to be.

      Hope you’re having a blessed Sunday πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Ceil, this is such a wonderful post, and Mary sounds like a lovely and caring person! We all need someone like this in our lives, especially when we are going through some sort of struggle, and I am so glad that Mary was there for you. I am so glad that she was your lighthouse!

    Oh, and just to let you know, and just in case you missed my Wednesday post, I did share a lot about myself to enable my friends and readers to get to know me. Since I only post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it should be easy for you to find.

    Thank you so much for all you share, Ceil, your posts are always fascinating and inspiring, and, like yourself, a breath of fresh air!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much for your kind words Linda. You are being a light for me today πŸ™‚

      I’ll have to check out your post, I’d love to learn more about you! It’s fun to get to know each other through our blogs. Thanks for the invitation!

  4. Reading about her kindness brought a smile to my face.

    I had a traumatic experience the other day of unkindess… a total stranger in a parking lot yelled at me for something I actually had not done. My kids heard it and everything. No one has ever cussed me out…ever…. I find people are abnormally kind to me. Strangers, customer service people, I have a weird bloom of courtesy that follows me around. So this shocked me. I have been praying for her…and me, because yikes…but I feel like she was angry before she even met me. I feel like something bad must have had happened in her life or something. I think if I have the opportunity to yell at a stranger in a parking lot now I will never do it. πŸ˜‰

    Wow…this wasn’t really the place for that, but your example of kindess really touched my heart and set me free a litte. Thanks!

    I would like to hear more about your experiences as a foster parent.

    • Oh Sandi, I’m so sorry that happened to you. I know what you mean about not having many experiences like that. Today, I offered a water bottle to a homeless man that I have been seeing sleeping on a bench where I walk. He felt threatened by me, and let loose with a stream of profanity, all while giving me the finger. Yikes. Last time I do that. You are not alone in having a negative experience.

      I have blogged infrequently about my experiences in providing foster care. It was fun, but hard too. Maybe I’ll be inspired to write again about it, we’ll see what God has in mind!

      • Ahh…thanks, Ceil! πŸ™‚

        I am sorry too about your experience. Ugh. Doesn’t feel good to be misunderstood.

        “Last time I do that.”

        This made me a little sad. I feel like that too, but I think…I hope…that’s not how we are supposed to handle these things. I think we are supposed to continue being who we were before these little ughs. I hope I do that.

        • I don’t mean that I won’t reach out to others ever again. In this case, I believe the man is mentally ill, and believes that people who approach him are threatening. I don’t want to upset him anymore, or endanger others if he gets aggressive.

          I think this situation is more involved than I realized. That’s okay. I can still be a light to others who are looking for one!

  5. This is a lovely story. I love that God brought Mary to you at just the right time to help guide you through the storm. It’s so true that even things that can seem small to us or like we’re “just doing our job” can make a huge difference to someone else and give them that sense of peace and safety. The image of a lighthouse is powerful- I have Rend Collective’s song “My Lighthouse” going round in my head now.

    • Hi Leslie! I really needed Mary’s expertise. And it wasn’t lost on me that God sent me to Mary on Christmas Eve. A real ‘wow’ moment for me.

      I love lighthouses, they are so peaceful and strong. I hope I can be more like them, and shed light for others to see.

    • Hi Linda! You are so kind my friend, thank you for your kind words. We are all trying to be that light to each other in the blogging world, right? I know you are a bright light for me.

      May we always see the people we need to serve,

  6. Oh Ceil…I just love this! First of all, I really like lighthouses too and several years ago when we visited the Outer Banks of NC, I was able to see a few of them. I really like the comparison you made between them and we, as people who can help lead the way for others and bring light to a dark situation. That is my prayer as well…that I might be that light for someone and actually ask the Lord to let me be used in this way. Have a wonderful week, my friend!

    • Hi Debby! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you liked the post today. I’ve never been to the outer banks, but I’d love to visit someday. I bet the lighthouses are so impressive.

      May we all be used as lights for each other! I know you are to me, and to all your readers!

  7. I am fascinated with lighthouses as well. I even have a pinterest board for them : )

    Having worked in a clinic setting for many years I have seen what a difference medical professionals (yourself included) can make in the lives of others. Mary might have been “only doing her job” but she proves how even doing our jobs with a heart of service can be that lighthouse to others.

    Once again, happy to have you back here : )

    • HI MINDY! You worked in a clinic? What kind was it? I worked in a doctor’s office for 13 years before I retired. There were a lot of people ‘just doing their job’ there too, and I know they brought so much comfort and joy to the patients they served.

      I’m happy to be back! And to be connected to my blog friends again…like you!

  8. Hi Ceil,
    I love lighthouses too, and always think that in society the brightest ‘lighthouses’ are usually the most humble of people who shine their lights of help and guidance purely out of their love for others. There was no greater ‘lighthouse’ than Jesus Who shone the light of the Father.
    God bless.

    • Hi Lulu! I agree. Although I did thank her, she’d have no idea the level of my relief. What a wonderful Christmas gift! I’m sure the Lord was smiling on her when I left the office.

      I am really heartened by the fact that we can help each other and be a lighthouse without really even realizing it. Just being ourselves is enough!

  9. It seems like I keep being drawn to and led to readings on intentional living, where we start our day by asking how we can be a value to others. I think God is telling me something! Our lighthouse could be our gifts too, but sometimes we might be choosing not to switch the light on, or maybe taking time to replace the bulb as it needs a bit of a ‘recharge!’ There is so much here to ponder, Ceil! I love too, how the nurse’s name was Mary who helped you on Christmas Eve. Wow.. How magical in the angel way of the Lord.

    • Hi Lynn! You are the first to notice that, so congrats! God sent me to Mary on Christmas Eve to get the help I needed. That image wasn’t lost on me πŸ™‚
      I liked the reference you made to ‘recharging’. While I’m busy resting, or maybe adjusting my light, I may miss an opportunity to be a light to someone else. That’s an interesting thought. Maybe I have to rely on the power of the Lord then? Hmmm.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment today my friend.

  10. You may not have realised this, Ceil, but your Blog is a shining lighthouse in an Internet full of bad things. Every so often, itinerant visitors may come upon what you write and get to know Christ. What an honour and privilege for you.

    In the UK some lighthouses have been turned into homes. Can you imagine how wonderful to have a room up there? Although one would get dizzy going up the spiral staircase.

    God bless you and yours.

    • Hi Victor! Thank you so much for your lovely words. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people would get to know Christ through our blogs? We both hope for that, I know.

      I think having living space in a lighthouse would be SO beautiful! The stairs would be a challenge, but the views would be gorgeous.
      Have a great week πŸ™‚

  11. I love how the Lord sends people to our rescue in the most unexpected ways at times. I love lighthouses too. We visited one last fall in Maryland and as always, it was mysterious and intriguing.

    • Hi Lisa! It’s a good thing the Lord isn’t subtle. I absolutely saw his heart in Mary. I think that happens everyday. I just have to be more aware of the subtle ways he comes to me.

      Your lighthouse in Maryland sounds beautiful. I bet the fall colors made it look even more spectacular!
      Monday blessings,

  12. What a lovely story! I have had many *lighthouse* people in my lifetime. It would thrill me to be used by God to be the same for others. Oh yes, Lord, help me shine. Teach me how to be a beacon, leading others to You through the storms of life.


    • Hi Sharon! I think we all have had those lighthouse people, God is so good to us that way. I will join you in your prayer to shine, especially to bring people to Christ. Isn’t that a beautiful way to help God in his saving work?

      Hope you’re feeling better soon,

  13. Oh, what an inspiring story, Ceil! Yes, we can all be a light in someone’s storm, can’t we? And sometimes, at the most unexpected moments, someone like Mary enters our own storms and calms the winds and seas.

  14. Beautiful, my friend! I love lighthouses as well! As I was reading this, the chorus I learned so long ago as a child kept running through my head….”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….” I think we often miss the power of even the smallest of lights in a shadowy, foggy, cloudy, or dark place. He is that light within us and we are admonished not to put it under a bushel, but rather to set it on a lamp stand. May we all keep your words in our hearts as we let our lights shine wherever we are.

    • Hi Pam! So true. Our lights shouldn’t be covered, but shine for all to see. I know that you’ve been a light to so many through your work, what a great feeling that must be!

      Who knows what fog there is in someone else’s life. How blessed we are to be chosen to shine our Christ-light to help.
      Yes! Let’s shine right where we are, because we are just where God intends us to be.
      Hope you had a great Monday!

  15. Letting our light shine – yes! We don’t always know how or with whom God will use us, do we? I’ve been blessed by many such people, and hope I’ve been a blessing to others as well. That is my prayer. Thank you for this timely reminder, Ceil.:)

    • Hi Karen! I know you have been a blessing through your books, teaching and blog too. You have been given many ways to reach out and have used them all. That’s awesome!

      Thanks for visiting today πŸ™‚

  16. Hi Ceil! Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Mary was truly a lighthouse for you. It’s sobering to realize that I could well be a lighthouse to someone (perhaps I already have been a lighthouse?). I remember a lady (I didn’t think to get her name), who made a point to talk to me (briefly) and give me hug perhaps–telling me she was praying for me (she had asked about the rooms we were in). This happened when my mom was in the last few days of her life. She was in the hospice room at our local hospital. (This dear lady was staying with a friend who was hospitalized.) Her prayers made a difference! I slept so well…sleep that I needed to get through those last few hours.


    • Oh Kim, what an angel that hospice worker was for you. I think that’s the way it is with lighthouses…we always remember them when we were in trouble or need.

      I am SURE you have been a lighthouse to others. You speak at your church, and you have a blog. You touch others my friend. Never doubt that.
      Hope you had a blessed Monday,

  17. I love how Mary let her light shine. And I love how you let your light shine, Ceil. I love lighthouses, too. They always remind me of how Jesus is a light and guide in the midst of life’s storms. I thought of how we can let our light shine, but never thought of ourselves as lighthouses. So true though. When Jesus shines His light from within us, we truly can be a lighthouse to others in the storms of life. Thank you for these thoughts! Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Hi Trudy! Thank you for your kind words here, I really appreciate them. You love lighthouses too? Aren’t they lovely? I don’t think my mind goes directly to Jesus when I see one, but on reflection I do. May he be the light we shine, and the port we lead others to find.

      Hugs and blessings right back to you πŸ™‚

  18. Thank God for Mary and others like her, who help us when we’re floundering. I did wonder why the dr. or nurse didn’t tell you how to get this in the first place. But then, you wouldn’t have this blog post and the joy of seeing God meet your needs!
    Grace to you, Jen

    • Hi Jeanette! I’m sure the doctor thought the medical supply place would instruct me. I was in such a fog that day, I’m not sure I’d even remember any instructions. I guess you’re right about it making good material for a post though.

      Thanks for visiting! Grace to you too πŸ™‚

  19. Oh Ceil! This was so wonderful! And welcome back! For some reason I haven’t seen you in a long time…maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place! You are a beacon of light to us here in cyber land. THank you for your blessed message today!

    • Hi Pam! Thanks for your welcoming words! I was on an extended blog break over the summer, so that’s why you didn’t see my name floating around.

      We are all light for each other, which is such a blessing. It’s great to be back and connected to other faith writers like you πŸ™‚
      Have a peaceful afternoon,

  20. A beautiful story you shared so eloquently, tying in a very physical thing with a spiritual and encouraging time. Now, when I see a lighthouse, I believe I will think of your friend Mary and the many “Mary’s” in my life who have been there for me during the difficult times, and who may never know they were my “Mary”. Thanks Ceil, you spoke to my heart today πŸ™‚

    • Hi MM! I’m so pleased that you liked the post today, thank you for telling me. I do think that most “Mary” people don’t know what an impact they have on us. I just hope they keep doing it, the world needs more people like that.

      Have a peaceful evening!

  21. I also love lighthouses. I have visited a few along the east coast in the Carolina area. The stories they tell and the strong beacon they are for others is a beautiful analogy to use here. I hope we all have a nurse Mary in our lives to guide us and shine hope in our lives when we need it most. Blessings my friend!

    • Hi Mary! You are the second person to mention Carolina lighthouses. I need to see some of those someday!

      I’ll join you in your hopes that we all have Mary’s in our lives when we need them. I think they are there, I just have to recognize them as the gifts they truly are.
      Blessings to you too! Have a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

  22. So beautiful and true! Thank you for sharing! I recently had friends who helped me travel to Europe to see my kids compete at an Olympic Hopes Regatta. Their help made my trip happen and made it amazing!

    • Hi Tyrean! Thank you for your kind words. I saw the photos of your daughter in the Regatta, it looked so fun!

      What would we do without the ‘lighthouses’ in our lives?
      Have a great weekend,

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