The Haceta Head lighthouse near Florence, Oregon is a relic of another time.  Photo by Tim Graves (Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0)
The Haceta Head lighthouse near Florence, Oregon is a relic of another time. Photo by Tim Graves (Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0)

I’ve never cared much for lighthouses. During my non-coastal childhood years, the only image I had of lighthouses came from the bad art on plastic placemats.

As an emerging adult, I quickly grew weary of the tired and overused metaphor of lighthouses in Christian ministries. I’ve projected negative impressions of lighthouse-named ministries upon lighthouses generally.

Then I wandered around the Haceta Head Lighthouse near Florence, Oregon on a cool summer morning.

I looked at the endless blue Pacific and the grey clouds that hung close to the earth. I noted the distance from city lights or even homes. Seeing ships bobbing on the horizon, I imagined sailors in another era struggling to navigate the foggy coast. I thought about the dinners disturbed by storms as lighthouse keepers worked to alert sailors of rocky waters.

Then I laughed at myself. The lighthouse of Haceta Head shone its light across the decades into my heart and mind.

I’ve lived a lifetime of judging lighthouses poorly. I’ve let perceptions keep me from appreciating the beauty of lighthouse architecture. I’ve failed to appreciate the culture of relationships between those on the shore and those at sea.

Keeper of Connections, help me let go of the connotations, associations, and bigotry that keep me from seeing lighthouses, people, and reality. Guide me to perceive and be love.

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