Be a lamp – a lifeboat – or a ladder by Stuart Segall
“Be a lamp – a lifeboat – or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
Who first expressed this? No one knows for sure. They say “Rumi” did but that does not matter. What matters is that these words say so much! Do these words speak to you?
When I first read these words some time ago, it made me think about who perhaps in our life has been, or perhaps will be in such a role as this.
Do you think of someone who has been a lamp? To be a lamp for another human is to be someone who brings light to the darkness, or one who helps light the way home. He or she might be that person to guide someone on their path safely, and to attract others with the true kindness of genuine warmth. Who do you think of?
To be a lifeboat is to carry others through dark or deep waters that appear to be dangerous. A lifeboat will help them to keep afloat, to keep their heads above water and ultimately keep them from drowning. A lifeboat kind of person helps people from calamity and adds to easing their burdens.
Maybe you are more of a ladder? A ladder acts to support someone as they climb. A ladder helps make it possible for a person to reach greater heights, to provide a way out, or give them a hand up.
For me however it is the end of the quote that really gets to me. “Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” A shepherd is defined as a person that guards, guides, and tends to sheep.
To people like me, it is what I want to do daily when I go out the door. The desire to help runs strong in my soul because I so remember the days of feeling lost. I desire to bring care, a set of listening ears, some encouragement, along with side orders of laughter and inspiration.
You don’t have to have a degree, lots of experience, or be a smooth talker. You just have to care, listen, and ask to understand.
Then find some way to walk with others, even a little way. After all, when it is all said and done, we are all just walking each other home.
Perhaps that’s why you are reading this, and why you are here.
Stuart Segall lives about an hour north of Seattle. He has spent most of his adult life counseling, encouraging, inspiring and uplifting others.