I’m an island girl. Born and raised on Grand Manan beside sandy beaches, rugged rocks and the freezing bay of Fundy. Salt water flows through my veins. The beach is my home. Waves lapping on the shore is the coastal music my heart dances to. My childhood memories include sandy beach afternoons with my friends, fog rolling across the coastline and pretty light houses guarding us all. Watching over us island folk.
I’ve visited several light houses in my lifetime, like the famous one at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia and weathered stately ones along the coasts of Maine and New Brunswick. My favourite lighthouse is the tall white one standing gracefully on the cliffs of Southwest Head on Grand Manan. It overlooks the bay and its light shines brightly, warning boaters of the rugged coastline. Others like Long Eddy Point (the Whistle) and the picturesque Swallowtail also mark island points, attracting hundreds of visitors and residents each year. If you’ve never seen a breathtaking sunset at the Whistle – well – you should! Their beauty and strength appeal to us all. Protectors of sailors, cruisers, and strong, rugged fishermen.
Many of the people I grew up surrounded by – family, friends, and countless community members – are all ‘lighthouses.’
Lovers of the Light. Strong, faithful, true.
They helped guide us along, lighting the pathway to the ultimate Lighthouse – Jesus. Some of these beloved ‘lighthouses’ no longer walk here, including my grandparents and parents, and oh, how I miss them. I long to see their lights. I know one day again I will.
In their absence, the baton of ‘light shining’ is passed onto me. I feel the weight of it. I want to be like those tall lighthouses, standing strong in the wind and storm surges.
Unshaken, unmovable, strong on a firm foundation.
Rend collective sings a song called “My Lighthouse”. I love the catchy folk tune, it makes me want to get up and dance a little. But the words, they are what really speak to me. Such truth!
In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won’t walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea, oh oh
You are the peace in my troubled sea.
I mean, wow! I don’t know know about you but those truths (and I KNOW they are true) make me want to shout and smile and dance a jig. Just ask my husband, he will tell you about my ‘kitchen dancing’ to worship songs! Hands in the air, smile as wide as the ocean… on some days. Other days, maybe not.
The truth is, I don’t feel like dancing every day. No. Some days are hard, and heavy and sad. I feel the weight of carrying loss, and grief and sometimes shame. On these days my feet limp instead of dance, and my eyes leak tears. My song is a lament, a heartbroken cry. I’ve known the grief that comes from losing a husband in a car accident on the day our son was born. I currently know grief and pain from watching someone I love dearly wander and struggle. This kind of grief looks like addiction, homelessness, and crisis. But my God – my Healer, my Redeemer- He holds me and heals me. In His kindness He speaks truth and hope over grief and over wrestling with shame. He offers hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. All my hope is in Him. He is the ‘peace in my troubled seas’.
So as I journey this life I keep my eyes and heart fixed on Him, my faithful Saviour, Guide, the beautiful Lighthouse. He gently leads me along to healing, hope, and freedom. Ultimately to home with Him – safe.
He wants me to shine His beautiful light, to help guide others coming behind me. Those watching and waiting for me to stand, shine and be a lighthouse on a Rock. I will shine His light – the most beautiful Light.
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works , and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
Then Jesus again spoke to them saying “ I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of life. – John 8:12
Amen and Amen