Shining Light on Rocky Shores

A simple phone call, telling a friend my plan.

I was young, yet old enough to travel in open seas.  Strong, forcing oars into wind swept waters.  Near-sighted, unable to see beyond the bow, the horizon hidden.


I wasn’t searching for thoughts, advice, just sharing my heart.  Seeking a listening ear, not words flowing from the Counselor’s child.

Holding the compass, I speak confidently, perhaps tinged with defiance.  Explanations, plans flapping in the wind, colored flags signaling innermost dreams.

She was silent, waiting patiently for me to finish my lengthy monologue.

Suddenly she spoke, loudly, emphatically, “You can’t do this.  You’ll wreck your hopes, dreams.  Don’t look back.  Go forward quickly.”

I was silent, furiously sailing away in my thoughts.  Justifying my course, searching for reassuring words from the Captain.  There was silence.


My friend, standing on far away shores, seeing huge boulders rising dangerously from calm waters.  Waves crashing forcefully, churning white foam rushing back to sea.


Seeing, she doesn’t remain silent.  Wise words, warning lights spoken into my darkness.

Pulling my hand from the ruder, humbling myself.  “You’re right.  Your painful words protect me, help me.  Thank you, my friend.”

Loving me beyond repercussions.  Not waiting for my life to disintegrate into tiny shards floating aimlessly.  My friend speaking God’s truth, His Word pouring into my life.

It’s inviting to simply whisper about someone heading for destruction.  When they open their heart to me, fear compels me to say, “I’m praying for you.”

Heart pounds, hands shake, eyes wander from their searching gaze.  “It’s not my place to shine a light”, my mind rationalizes.  “If they want to know what I think, they will ask.”

The Counselor, my Lord, speaks gentle words, “…speaking the truth in love.  Love enough to speak gently, honestly.  Wrap your arms around the hurting, confused pointing out the safe shore.”


Steps to Shining Light on Rocky Shores


  • Spend time in prayer for:

–God’s wisdom

–loving and caring spirit

–gentle words

–right timing

–open heart of other person

  • Search the Scriptures


  • Write ways God and you love the person


  • Plan a time to meet or write a letter


  • Speak the truth in love

–share affirming words

–humbly explain concerns and dangers

–share specific Bible verses

–wait for the person to respond

–if necessary, explain concerns and dangers again

–reaffirm God’s and your love

–if possible, pray audibly for the person

  • Pray for person until God’s gives you peace

Love is not always easy, doesn’t always feel good.

“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”


Love calls out into the darkness, shining a light.

Photography copyright © by Jane Carole Stein


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