I saw a street lamp standing tall by the road.
Riding my bike, like always, I noticed for the first time.
It had been there all along, when the asphalt was first laid.
But every time I passed, I never appreciated its worth.
It never demands attention, never threatens to go dark.
This slender tree, coming from the ground, tall and strong.
In hurricane season, in rains, heats, and freeze it remains.
It has a job to do, an important purpose, for the community.
It stands like a pillar, a lighthouse on a hill during waves and storm.
Giving help to travelers on bikes, runners, walkers, kids of all ages.
Who knows what’s in the path when the shadows come?
The old path for walking can be dangerous at night.
It wears with time, the shifting ground makes cracks and uneven places.
One could trip and fall, bruise a limb, sprain a joint, or crack a bone.
Not to mention turtles, snakes, possums, or forbid a thief.
To travel in the dark is a dangerous thing. So the lamp must burn.
Atop the great tree extends one limb, with luminous fruit at the end.
When it is day, and all can see it takes a break, and just stands.
But at dusk, when the hour of need arises, it knows what to do.
Inside its core, wires of life pulsate with energy from a distant hub.
But the one light is not enough, and I look around to see many in rows.
Other trees are planted to shine, where the other’s light falls short.
Together they work, a canopy of grace, a place of safety for the wearisome traveler.
If you could hear I would say, “Please, do not be discouraged.
Protect your brilliance from corrosion, bitterness, and sin.
When one beam goes out the darkness scores a win, and takes more ground.
When the midnight hour comes, how deep the darkness will be.
This is the time to shine. Go on standing tall, with the others on the way.
And yet it is not you, but the daily power surge of heavenly grace.
Your radiance from another place, is a reflection of Light that will never die.