Flashlights and Lanterns

What did we do before phones had flashlights?

Every single morning I use mine to walk from the bed to the bathroom.  Then from the bathroom to the kitchen and into my office.

When I think back, I used to use my shins to feel for the edge of the bed to walk around it and then feel the walls or the doors.  I’d keep my arms out in front of me to feel for the hallway, until I could get to the kitchen or my office and turn on the light without bothering anyone.

I was thinking about it this morning as it was lighting my path.

It was so dark and the light seemed so bright.  But I still couldn’t see beyond the little circle area it was lighting.  It has to move with me.  I have to point it ahead of me where I want to see.

If I don’t use it, it doesn’t help.  

Like this morning when I leaned down to kiss my fur daughter on the head and got a great big eye booger on my lip.  Ick!  Totally my fault.

I had a light and didn’t use it.   

Over the weekend my boys were home with a sitter when a storm blew in and the power went out.  She called me while they were crying in the background, scared to death.  I asked her if they had the lantern on.  She said, No. I don’t know where it is.  I told her where it was and reminded the boys they knew where to show her.  As soon as the lantern was turned on, they calmed down.

The light of the lantern fills the whole room.

It’s not a focused spotlight, like the flashlight.  It has the three rows of bright lights and a mirrored backing that reflects the light back out even brighter than all the lights combined.  It doesn’t just light your path, it lights everything.  The lantern, not only enables you to see where you’re going, you see the people you’re with.  With a lantern, you suddenly realize you’re not alone.

Realizing you’re not alone changes everything.  

What’s even better, is the lantern lights the path for everyone around you.  Instead of following in a single file line behind your light, others can walk beside you and share your light.  They can see the path for themselves, because of your light.

How bright is your light these days?  

I think sometimes we forget we even have a light to shine.  (And we end up with eye boogers in our mouths.)

Sometimes we use a flashlight, because we don’t remember where our lantern is.  In those times, we do what we can.  We light the path in front of us so we don’t run into the walls with our foreheads. (speaking from experience, that’s not fun)

We’re thankful we still have the light to see our way.

Sometimes we need to sit with a friend who has a lantern.  It’s comforting to be able to see them sitting there, maybe even holding our hand. They light the room while we calm down and rest, until we are ready to shine our light again.

If that’s you today, I hope you’ll reach out to a friend with a lantern and rest.

If it’s all you can do to light the path ahead of you to see the way to go today, do that.  That’s why we have flashlights.  We’ve all been there. Find your way by putting one foot in front of the other.

If you have a lantern handy, shine it today.  

Go get it from the closet and light up the world for those around you.  Don’t just use your flashlight, when you can light the whole room.  We need you to shine your light.  You have a light that can reach places the rest of us can’t.

There’s someone sitting, afraid in the dark, waiting to know you’re there.

Light only makes a difference when it shines.  

To more love,


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