I saw a report this week that the US has only one remaining manned lighthouse, Boston Light, on Brewster Island. It’s the oldest lighthouse in America, originally built in 1716, destroyed by the British in 1776, then rebuilt, and has been in operation ever since.
Interesting Fact: According to the article, until the Coast Guard was formed in 1939, most lighthouses were operated by families who endured isolation, hard work, and savage storms.
As many as 1,200 lighthouses were built along the nation's ocean, river, and lake coasts. About 800 are still standing, and roughly 500 are in operation, almost all by the Coast Guard. Boston Light is the only one that has never been automated -- thanks to an act of Congress two years ago, Boston Light will be manned indefinitely.
A Lighthouse has a simple mission but not an easy job.
The mission is to just shine.
• Shine to warn of dangerous rocks
• Shine as a waypoint for navigators
• Shine to guide ships safely into port
• Shine constantly
• Shine when it’s hard
• Shine when no one is watching
• Shine when the world turns frigid cold
• Shine when strength is nearly exhausted
• Shine when the winds threaten to extinguish the light
• Shine when the seas rage and the tempest tries to break them
In the age of lighthouses, there were other jobs that were important – even heroic.
- Guard ships to defend and protect.
- Planes, helicopters, and Rescue ships to save floundering sailors.
But more lives have been saved by lighthouses than by all of those combined.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Jesus ~ Matthew 5:14-16 CSB
We are the lights that our world desperately needs!