Sunday night I was sitting on my sofa, glazed over, scrolling through Facebook, looking for anything other than politics and DIY videos. And then, there it was! A beautiful picture of a lighthouse taken with an iPhone. Who in the world was right where I wanted to be? It was a post by a high school friend from years ago. (Notice I didn’t say “old” friend. Time to stop that!) He and his friends, along with many other Charleston residents, were in the bay off the coast of Folly Beach, South Carolina, gazing at the Morris Island Lighthouse.
Why were hundreds gathered that night in boats and on the shore? The Morris Island Lighthouse stood dark and dormant for 54 years, since 1962. The storms had taken their toll on this structure over time. Sunday night, October 2, they held a ceremony to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the first lighting by re-lighting its beacon.
I was in awe.
I quickly browsed here to read more about this beauty. Many years ago this particular lighthouse was strategically placed as a useful guide through existing channels to aid in avoiding the jetties.
Currently there is a concerned group of people in Charleston called “Save the Light”. They have raised funds for years and have slowly been rebuilding, preserving and sustaining this inured giant lantern. I know, I’m obsessed with lighthouse stories! The name of this group is “Save the Light”. Don’t you just love that?
As I tracked the history and the stories of the Morris Island Lighthouse, the analogies started washing over me! While this impressed me, I honestly didn’t think that you would be so moved by the history of a random lighthouse on the Eastern shore.
Yesterday morning when I woke up and saw a news alert on my phone that Hurricane Matthew was bearing down on the US eastern sea board. The tracker showed it making landfall very near my Morris Island Lighthouse!
Oh my word. No!!!
But then I remembered that group of people in Charleston that had made a huge investment over the years to preserve it and strengthen it and build it up. No need to fear. Matthew would not destroy it. The Morris Island Lighthouse would be safe. The investment and restoration was made for such a time as this!
And now I sit on the same sofa watching the news. Authorities are using the words “mass destruction” and expect over 8 million people in the US to be effected by Hurricane Matthew. This terrible storm is converging on us and only God knows what the aftermath will be.
As I read about the life of this century old lighthouse I noticed words such as:
cyclone - hurricane - earthquake - storms - high winds - destroyed
overturned - rapidly eroding - carried away - thrown out of position - cracked
These words would adequately describe life at times. I’m sure you would agree that you have had your own stories, moments that resonate with the above descriptive words. Sometimes it seems that life is on the verge of spiritual and emotional collapse and can no longer hold in the midst of the storm.
But God …
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed … 2 Corinthians 4:8,9
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11
Below are the words in the Morris Island Lighthouse story that describe the restoration process:
concrete pilings built - cracks repaired - base stabilized - erosion controlled
walls restored - secured the foundation - lenses replaced
It’s time. Time for strengthening, building up, preserving your soul for future storms. They will definitely come. But it’s not about the storms, it’s about the anchor that holds in the midst of the hurricanes that threaten your life.
So now, as you glance at Hurricane Matthew stories on Facebook and walk past TVs showing the winds of the storm, may you be reminded of the Morris Island Lighthouse. Remember its strength amid the high winds. Be grateful to God as your ever strong anchor when the winds attempt to blow out your light.
God, as storms may bear down on my soul and try to smash, wipe out, and extinguish my flame, remind me that…"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5