In doing some research recently, I came across some info on Wikipedia about “lamp trimmers.” These were people who served on board ships before electrical lighting was used. They were specialists who would go around the ship every few hours to make sure the oil lamps were all burning brightly, since the only light under the deck of a ship was what these lamps provided.
These folks were skilled at knowing just how to trim the wick to make it burn the brightest and the longest. They knew just how much oil to keep in the lamps so that they would not run out, but would not burst into flames if they got knocked off and broke. In other words, they made it their life’s work to provide light for others. And they did it consistently, faithfully.
We live in a world much like those levels under the deck of the old-time ships. And we should be those who commit themselves to making sure we provide light in the midst of darkness.
Light gives hope. Light shows the way. Light reveals. People in our lives need light. Let’s be lamp trimmers.
The 58th chapter of the book of Isaiah in Scripture challenges us to help those in need, saying that not only will we turn the darkness into light by doing so, but that the Lord will also bless us bountifully for our efforts.
It doesn’t take much to bring light to someone’s darkness… a kind word… a thank you note… buying them a coffee or a meal… sending them an encouraging text… congratulating them when they have done well what they do… helping them when they are busy and feeling overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be overdone, just like the lamp trimmers didn’t overfill the lamps.
We can trim lamps at home… at work… at church… at the gym… at the restaurant… at school… online… anywhere. And you know, as we provide light for others, we also help light our own path.
So, from the early outset of this week, let’s determine to be those who bring light to the darkness of anyone we possibly can. Trim on!