“The dip of the light meant that the island itself was always left in darkness. A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it.”
― M.L. Steadman
I was surprised at the controversy that erupted when the private journals of Mother Teresa were made public, revealing that she suffered from depression and doubts. Given the nature of her work and the sacrifices she made to continue it, I don’t know how she possibly could have avoided the periodic struggles that are almost inseparable from lifelong faith.
So often we look at those who are shining examples, and we assume it comes more easily for them than it would for us. We think them more gifted, or resilient, or noble, or brave. “I could never do what you do,” we might say, intending it to be a compliment, not guessing that they may be silently thinking: Oh, yes you could if you had to. If you were willing.
In reality, those we see as heroes are probably not much different from the rest of us, except for their commitment to what they believe; the will to keep going no matter how their emotions may assault them. In fact, their steadfast dedication probably means that they get far less encouragement than most of us get. After all, they don’t seem to need it.
But everyone needs it. We all need each other. It may be impossible to be guided by our own lights, but we can see the beams from those of others. Thus when we look outward for light in the darkness, we might consider the question of whether we have sufficient fuel to send forth even a small light ourselves. Someone out there is watching for it.
One year ago today: