As Hurricane Irma makes landfall, Floridians across the state will bravely assist each other.  The halos of these unselfish helpers are like "lights along the shore" in the story below. Let's be thankful for each one! 

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) was one of the most famous evangelists of the 19th century. In his sermons, he often recalled a passenger ship on Lake Erie approaching Cleveland harbor on a dark and storm-tossed night. A pilot was aboard to guide the ship safely into the harbor.

Seeing only the light from one lighthouse, the ship's captain asked the pilot, "Are you sure this is Cleveland?" "Quite sure," replied the pilot. "Where are the lower lights, the ones in homes along the shore?" the captain asked. "They've gone out, sir," the pilot said. "Either we find the channel without them, or we perish."

In the darkness, with no lights along the shore, the ship missed the channel and crashed on the rocks. Many lives were lost.

Moody concluded by saying, "The Master will take care of the Great Lighthouse, but it is up to us to keep the lower lights burning."


Philip Bliss, one of the greatest hymn-writers of all time, was directing music at Moody's service when he heard this true story. Immediately afterward, he wrote the words and music for a hymn called "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning."  Published in 1871, it was sung in churches from coast to coast. It's not in many modern hymnals, so here are the words.

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from His lighthouse evermore,But to us he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled. Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed
Trying now to make the harbor in the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.