“Mother, do you think the lighthouse tender will come today? ” Young Anna stood at the window of the Passage Light keeper’s house, looking out at the vast expanse of Lake Superior.

“Anna, you’ve asked me that every day this week. I don’t know when it will arrive, but hopefully soon, as we are getting low on some of our food supplies.”

“I really hope it arrives today. I’ve read everything in the library box several times already.”

“It’s certainly nice to get a new library. I look forward to seeing what new magazines will be in it.”

Father rushed inside, unbuttoning his work-soiled shirt. “Tender’s approaching. Get ready for inspection.” He raced to put on his clean keeper’s uniform as required by the Light Service Board.

Always prepared for unexpected visits, the house was in order by the time the tender landed on the shore below the remote lighthouse. On this trip, however, the inspector didn’t arrive, so the family breathed a sigh of relief, then began to receive the new supplies the tender brought.

Two men carried in a large wooden box, its hinged doors tightly closed, and set it down on the parlor floor.

“Here’s the old one!” Anna pointed to the box that had been in their home for several months, so it could be exchanged for the new one.

Mother opened the new box and gazed at the contents of books and magazines, ranging from topics of history and science to fiction and poetry. “Let’s see what we have here.” She studied the list on the inside of the door. “This box just came from the Raspberry Island Light.”

“Mother, look! Robinson Crusoe!” Anna held up the book. “I can read it to Toby.” Anna’s little brother hadn’t learned to read yet.

Ladies Home Journal. I’ll enjoy this. And look, “Popular Mechanics. Your father always likes to read this magazine.”

Like a new Christmas gift, the library box provided excitement to families assigned to remote lighthouse locations. From 1876 to 1938, these portable libraries provided entertainment, enlightenment and education for households otherwise isolated from civilization.

There was one book that almost every keeper’s family owned though, one that stayed with them wherever they lived. This book, the Bible, was an important part of the household, and a permanent source of information. These people knew the value of the wisdom and guidance it contained, and
treasured it more than any other book because it was God’s Word.

It still is. Many people own one or more copies of it. But is it valued and revered, or is it just part of the furniture, collecting dust on the shelf? Like the library boxes, it is a gift. But this gift doesn’t have to be returned. But what good is a gift that is never opened?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16