His name was George Worthylake, have you heard of him? He was the Nation’s first Lightkeeper. The first lighthouse built in the United States was in 1716 in Boston Harbor. The lighthouse was partially destroyed by British forces during the American Revolution. The tower was rebuilt in 1783. Today that lighthouse is preserved by a special act of Congress to serve as a monument to the United States Lighthouse Services, “ ensuring that the Lighthouse will always be manned and cared for by human hands to uphold the tradition of Lightkeeping.”
Back in the day Light Keeping was considered more of a “calling” than a job. The stated responsibilities included:
Constant and Faithful attention to all duties
Periods of tedious boredom and record Keeping
Isolation and physical exhaustion from daily duties
On going repair and maintenance of facilities and equipment
Always prepared to respond to any and all emergency, including shipwrecks
If you’re a dad you may recognize some parts of this job description. Light Keeping is a big job. We get to decide each day what to do with this call on our lives. Parenting our daughters’ will test us, expose us and exhaust us. It will also bless us, thrill us and fill us. A “Calling” requires an “answer.” So what is your answer? What kind of dad are you deciding to be?
David is a good friend. He is also one of my hero’s. He is a Lighthouse Dad.
I have seen him faithfully climb the steps to his post when he was bone tired.
I have seen him tend the light through dark times in the service of others.
I have seen his courage and grace light up the dark and point the way through.
I have seen him prayer through tears of joy and sorrow with humility and faith.
I have seen him plunge into the water and row into the storm for those in his care.
I have seen his light create a safe harbor for the weary and broken.
Being a Lighthouse Dad will not make you rich or famous. It will be costly, and scary and dangerous. If you do it really well, you will go mostly unnoticed. The compensation is low, the conditions hard, and the commitment is for life.
Some guys have decided to pass on this responsibility. I get it.
But here’s the thing, our daughters’ are out there waiting and hoping that someone is keeping the light on for them. So I say we rouse ourselves and one another to climb the steps, to get to our post and to light it up.
United States Lighthouse Services, Operating Manual, 1927
The Light Keeper’s Pledge:
“Above all and without fail the light must be kept burning brightly from sunrise to sunset”
Dr. Don Worcester
Grace and Peace