I hate dust. I’m allergic to it, so I don’t like to dust. However, I also don’t like the way it covers everything if I do not dust. I have to admit I’m not the world’s most fastidious when it comes to dusting, but I do keep it to a minimum.
When I learned that lighthouse keepers had to dust the lenses in the lighthouse every day, I whispered a “Thank God it wasn’t me,” prayer. The larger the light, the more lenses there were to dust, painstakingly, so they wouldn’t break.
The Fresnel lens revolutionized lighthouses in the mid-1800’s because they enabled the lights to shine farther and more brightly. Basically, the Fresnel enclosed the lamp (source of light) with a series of prisms, specially ground pieces of glass set in a copper framework, that focused the light outwards.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California, one of the tallest in America, has a First Order Fresnel Light, which is the largest. It is so large in fact that a man can stand inside the lens comfortably. However, this lens has 1008 prisms, which had to be cleaned and dusted. Everyday!
Yet, cleaning was necessary for the source of the light to shine its brightest and be seen the farthest. Since the lamp usually burned lard, smoke could cover the lens as well as dust. And If the lens weren’t cleaned, the light wasn’t able to shine through as well as it should, hampering its ability to be seen by those ships at sea who desperately needed to see it lest they wreck on the dangerous rocks of the coast.
In the same way, we are the prisms that God’s light has to shine through to be seen by others. He is the source, we have no light of our own without His, yet we focus the light outward. I wondered what kind of “dust” I might have that would prevent His light from shining through. Maybe I need to clean up on the inside.
“The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out.” Proverbs 13:9