THE LAMPLIGHTER


 THE LAMPLIGHTER

Once upon a nowaday time, there lived a common man (named Kirk.) He lived with his mate and their four children in a modest home. To outsiders, it appeared that the dwelling was like any other house, surrounded by carbon copies of layout and design.  From the outside, looking in, this may have appeared to be so, but within the wooded frame, one and all felt loved and secure. Near the entrance, outside this home, hung a wooden message, “WELCOME!  THE BENISH FAMILY LOVES HERE” and it was true.

The commoner’s mate was a “kid magnet,” attracting children of various ages, as well as those who were young at heart. Throughout her busy days, youngsters and teens came and went, stopping by for brief moments to be nourished emotionally or physically, to tell a weary tale or to receive an “atta boy” for a well-deserved achievement.

Kirk spent his days as a buggy builder, hand-carving excellence and beauty into physical form. He also created horse-drawn sleighs that would bring magical moments to others on crisp, winter days. His tools were crude and yet he proudly completed projects that validated his trade, talent and love of bringing unique beauty to others. He was a Master Craftsman, who attempted to resurrect a dying art.

As much loving patience and perfection that he hand-crafted and oftentimes painstakingly performed in buggy building, the same high quality was given to his family. He was tireless when one of his loved ones found themselves in need.  His strong arm of protection afforded the family security in all ways and always.

When times got lean, his mate offered to go within the marketplace to secure a position. With pride, he thanked her, knowing full well that he had her support and concern.  However, he was aware of the many tasks she performed which filled her days from early morn until late at night. Together, they agreed that her service of being available to their four children as well as strangers was far too important to sacrifice.  In total agreement, as man and wife, and as equals, the decision was made. Kirk would acquire a second, part-time position

Together, with hands and hearts joined, they asked in united prayer for the awareness of the Divine Presence in their lives, knowing it was ever present.  Each gave silent thanks, knowing the highest good of all concerned would manifest. No decisions were ever made in the home, except by asking for awareness of the Divine Plan and their individual aspects within the Wholeness.  They trusted that all outer circumstances; situations, people and supply would be aligned in the physical world in Divine right order.

As their request went forth, into the silence of the night, their acceptance of the greater good and belief that prayers are answered, created the mold of thought which would soon be revealed. In their home, gratitude was the greatest attitude. Thankfulness for that which is not yet seen was the final release To All That Is, “the letting go and letting God.”

Kirk and Gloria had learned so long ago that if they did not have their prayers answered, it was only because they had not asked aright. Only through worry, concern or lack of faith, and sometimes from hanging onto requests, attempting to humanly or mentally figure things out were previous prayers unanswered. To ask only for the Divine Presence is a soul’s guarantee that the prayer will materialize as all that is needed.

Seventy-two hours after the prayer, a perfect position made itself known.  The small village needed a Lamplighter. In his own quiet and subtle way, Kirk would serve others by lighting their way.

The position was perfect for Kirk. At dusk, he could drive his team of horses, allowing them exercise. He would only be gone from home during the hours his children did their homework, returning early enough to give quality time and to hear the events of their day. With these hours of employment, his wife wouldn’t be alone in the dark of night.

For Kirk, personally, he would have quiet, reflective, meditative time so he could continue to hear the still, small voice within him. The fresh air and the great outdoors (where he most enjoyed being) were his own personal reward in accepting the position.

Knowing full well that God works in mysterious ways, Kirk knew the service of lighting lamps hadn’t come to him by chance or coincidence. Though the position didn’t pay large sums of alms, he knew in his heart he had been chosen for this position.

Kirk was aware that God and he were partners.  The Almighty gave him ideas and opportunities. He had to take physical action to do the work. In quiet solitude, with a thankful heart, the Commoner felt blessed.

Before Kirk left for the first night at his new job, he and Gloria chatted excitedly as she prepared his dinner. He watched as she sliced her homemade bread and made a sandwich that would have been fit for a King. Warm, banana-nut bread, his favorite, for an added treat. He smiled as he thought, “The woman loves to cook, but she loves it even more to watch others eat. If there was one woman, like her, for every thousand people, this world would be an almost perfect place.”

Her words, “Hurry along! Don’t be late…” jarred him back to present moment. She walked him to the horses and buggy awaiting him at the invisible boundary line of their yard and street.

They hugged endearingly before they parted and her ringing, happy voice wished him well. As he drove away, he could hear her say, “I can’t wait to hear, when you return, of all the wonderful people and moments you experience!”

He blew her a final kiss, silently thinking, “She genuinely means it. She always listens to every single word I speak.” Knowing how inspired she became from people and life, his gift to her upon return, would be sharing his experiences.

The Lamplighter fulfilled his round that evening, stopping to chat with countless people. He watched the beautiful sunset fade behind the mountains in the distance, turning the sky to azure and fluid, pastel pink, together making a soft violet.  He was complimented by countless souls that evening for the service he performed. It was offered that the lighted streets made it safer for moonlight walks.

Upon arriving home, his mate joined helpfully at his side to remove the bridles and harnesses and listened carefully to his every word, feeling the excitement of his adventures. As seen through his eyes, she saw so clearly the events of the night.

Almost as a ritual, nightly adventures and stories were told.  Each better than the previous day. The Lamplighter had tales of children, animals, and stories that enchanted her. She felt such pride in hearing how her mate was touching so many others, in common ways that are most generally taken for granted. Weeks and then months passed and they discovered one evening that they no longer needed this position. The moment had arrived that a choice could be made. He could continue the position out of love for it or he could quit.

As in all matters of great concern, Kirk and his mate joined hands in silent prayer asking for guidance from He Who sees and knows all. Believing the answer would be clearly revealed in dreams, visions or in hearing another’s words as they passed as strangers on the street, they gave their release of loving thanks.  No changes in their outer world would be made until they knew within that all was in Order.

Within 72 hours, the Lamplighter had a dream. Though he saw no face, a Voice of mighty authority spoke: “Be My Hands so others can feel My touch, Be My Voice so others can hear Me speak, Be My Heart so others can feel My love, just be yourself…for that is Me.” The voice continued, “Comfort those in need and help Me to help others. Are you aware, My son, that everything that occurs to you or others is always for the highest good? To outer appearances, that statement could appear as questionable. In reality, had you not momentarily experienced lack, you would not have needed to secure a second position whereby you could be of service to light the way for others in their darkest hours.”

Even in the dream, Kirk knew that he must heed the Voice. The message was being engraved in his heart so that upon awakening, the dream would not melt away. The Voice continued, “When people ignore their inner urgings, visions, and dreams, they find themselves in precarious situations. Each event, although sometimes momentarily uncomfortable or even painful is only an attempt to help them recognize that Spirit, as Light, stands behind all appearances.  Their greater good stands supreme when they place their attention upon it.”

Before the dream ended, the Voice spoke once again, “There are two women who need to hear how to have a successful marriage. You will meet them tomorrow, your last day as a Lamplighter.”

Kirk awoke, not knowing at what hour he would locate the ladies, nor being aware what the secret to a successful relationship was. Intuitively, thoughts followed, “No need to worry. You will be shown and in that hour, when it becomes necessary to speak, Spirit will speak through you. Be at peace.”

The following evening, the Lamplighter hugged his wife and climbed up into the buckboard seat that he, himself, had beautifully upholstered. He blew her a kiss and though she couldn’t hear him as he drove away, she read his lips as he said, “I love you so much!”

Kirk became aware that everywhere he drove, each lamp he lit, and each woman he saw, he questioned if it could be one of the women he was to speak to. He silently affirmed and trusted that whatever he was to speak would come forth.

He had but one more lamp to light and his job would be complete. He carefully removed the glass globe and the match sparked in the dusk. With no sign of two women who needed Divinely inspired wisdom, he retreated to the buggy with his head hung low. He believed in dreams! He was willing to serve and go on faith alone, if need be. With a heavy sigh, doubtful emotions subsided and he listened closely to his thoughts that were guiding him to a nearby coffee house in the marketplace.

Knowing that a soul doesn’t see the entire picture and only gets a piece of the puzzle at a time, that each new step is only offered in each present step, Kirk trusted to be led to the end result. Life is magical when one learns to listen to the subtle hints and clues from the invisible world.

Stepping over the threshold, the Lamplighter’s attention was drawn to two women chatting at a small table. He took a seat at the counter and ordered a cup of tea. He could feel the tension and anger, overhearing their conversation. He silently questioned the Divine, “Are these the two you spoke of? If so, give me a sign.”

The miracle startled Kirk! Within milliseconds, one of the women got his attention and said, “Sir, I recognize you as the town’s Lamplighter.  We need you to join us for just a moment.” Kirk smiled inwardly as he walked towards the ladies.

Offering his hand, tipping his hat and then removing it in a gracious gesture, he sat at the table,

“How can I be of service?” he asked.

Hope replied, “We both have marriages that are failing and we have often discussed you and your mate. As we stroll about town, we see you and her, together, holding hands and looking adoringly into one another’s eyes.  How is it that, after so many years and so many children, you keep the spark alive? What is your secret to a successful marriage?

Until this moment, Kirk had thought when he came face-to-face with his mission, that profound words would be placed in his thoughts.  Instead, he only had to speak from his heart.

“Loving praise for one another is the secret, dear ladies. My wife speaks words of praise to God, appearing as me, thanking the Divine Spark within me at the end of each day for everything I’ve done.  Because she praises me, I find myself wanting only to please her more. She would never think to degrade me, to even her dearest friend, for she knows that space or distance does not limit harsh words and the energy behind them. Unkind remarks hurt just as deeply whether near or far.  In our home, we speak kindly to one another.”

With great pride he continued, “She speaks as kindly behind my back as she does to my face. Others feel her love for me and no one has prejudgments of my weaknesses or negative traits, for they are non-existent if they have no energy or attention placed upon them. To be successful in your marriage, put your attention upon your husbands’ strengths and remember what attracted you to one another. I guarantee, with loving praise, all of your relationships can be healed. Trust that God can fix anything, even a broken relationship.”

Kirk returned home from his final eve as a Lamplighter, greeted by his smiling, loving wife. She pumped him about his experiences and he seemed to be so vague.  He walked her out under the stars, held her hand and under the light of the silvery moon he said, “I once read somewhere that miracles are expressions of love, unconsciously directed as a result of a loving heart. When I look at you, I see a miracle.  You never once plan or try to be loving or kind, you just are. You don’t have to try to love me or others because you just do. You don’t have to read books or listen to lectures or sermons to learn to be loving for your very essence is love. I’ve always known how fortunate I am to be a part of your life, but tonight, I feel like the luckiest man alive. If my life were to end this moment, I would die a happy man, for these years with you have been the best years of my life.”

In the silence of the universe, they embraced and she giggled as she whispered, “People think happily-ever-afters are for fantasy alone, but honey, there’s a place where fantasy and physical live side-by-side.  If I could give a gift to the world, with love, it wouldn’t be by telling them which yellow brick road to take. I wouldn’t want to take away their adventures, surprises and wonders of the journey. I’d write a book and tell them it exists and allow them the opportunity and magic to find their own way. But, since you know I can’t keep a secret, I’d be sure to give them the key that opens their heart.”

Gloria had learned long ago that she couldn’t appreciate others until she appreciated herself. She couldn’t love others, unless she first learned to love herself.  From the teachings within the Bible and within her quiet time, she had been taught to “Love the Lord God with her heart, mind, and soul…the first and greatest commandment ever given.” To know that the Presence of God resided within her individual consciousness was the first step as she learned to love herself, completely and wholly, without guilt. Loving one’s self had been erringly taught as selfish. In spiritual reality, it is the foundation on which all spiritual growth occurs.

Taught from within, she placed her hands upon her abdomen…fingers pointed down toward her pelvic bone and thumbs upon her navel. She had felt a deep emptiness until she was guided in this process. In her thoughts, she silently stated, “Dearest Father/Mother Creator of All That Is, God within…I love you.”  An inner glowing warmth flooded from the core of her heart and soul and filled her being with liquid, divine love. As the sensation subsided, she whispered silently, “I still feel the need to experience more love” and the infinite and unconditional warmth filled her again and again. No inner Presence called her greedy. No inner Presence denied her request, no matter how many times it was called upon. Now that Gloria loved herself, she could freely and willingly love others, as needed. She would never withhold information or love in any form and she, like He Who maintained and sustained her, would never tell another that the gift to give was limited. Others could take what they needed, and she would continue to give unconditionally as she, herself, had received, because there is plenty for everyone.

That evening in her husband’s arms, the inner glow surrounded and filled them as she whispered, “I love our life together, I love our family, I love life itself…and I love you… Won’t it be a wonderful world when others feel and experience the Divine Spark within themselves and their relationships?” She saw a shining tear in his eye in the moonlight and watched as he nodded his head in total silence.

The ending?  Speaking critically of one another and not taking responsibility for hurtful words, denying that the spoken word has power, for there are no idle words. All create on some level. The beginning? This moment: Allowing gratitude to be the greatest attitude in one’s home…and in one’s life.  In doing so and by focusing on your loved one’s light rather than their darkest shadows…well, don’t be surprised by the results of you moonlighting as a Lamplighter. The salary and your efforts may be minimum, but the payoff is maximum divine security….