I’ve always been fascinated with lighthouses. When I was teaching sixth grade in the San Francisco Bay Area, we visited Point Reyes. The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 to warn mariners of navigational hazards and served for 105 years. The Point Reyes Lighthouse was retired from service in 1975 when the U.S. Coast Guard installed an automated light adjacent and below the historic tower. The Coast Guard then transferred ownership of the lighthouse to the National Park Service, which has taken on the job of preserving this specimen of our maritime heritage.
A lighthouse keeper or lightkeeper is a person responsible for tending and caring for a lighthouse, particularly the light and lens in the days when oil lamps and clockwork mechanisms were used. Lighthouse keepers were sometimes referred to as “wickies” because of their job.
Whenever I look at a lighthouse, I can’t help but wonder what life in a lighthouse must be like and that reminds me of how life is in our world’s current state of living through a pandemic. The life of a lighthouse keeper is often either romanticized or seen as a desolate life for those who prefer the solitary confines of the role, away from the social rigors of mainland life.
Because Covid-19, many have been forced to live a life of solitude as we social distance and remain pretty much quarantined in our homes. While it may be normal and desirable for lighthouse keepers, it’s anything but normal for most folks. Most of us had the freedom to move about in our world as we pleased: going to a physical place to work, taking a leisurely walk through a grocery store or mall filled with tons of other people, catching a movie in a theater packed with other viewers, etc.
The effects of such circumstances have created a varied number of reactions. It might have drawn families closer as they now have the opportunity to get to know each other better, or worse, even torn them apart as they are forced to deal with problems they had been able to ignore or overlook before. Either way, it has caused us all to change in some way.
When you look at the images above, which one describes your experience? We need to remind ourselves that none of this caught God by surprise, and He expects us to continue to trust Him in the midst of it. It’s easy to forget that God is still with us in hard times. But He hasn’t forgotten us; and if we’re not careful, we can even forget Him in our good times. We forget to express our gratitude towards Him for His sustaining power. We forget to say thank you for His extraordinary care of us. Two scriptures come to mind in both of these circumstances:
Philippians 4:12-13 I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret [of being content]-whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
Let’s try to keep our focus on the One who has the power to not only end this pandemic but has the power to sustain us in the midst of it. Let us know how you’re doing. (Pam)