Lighthouse, Sea Surge and Survival in a Strong Tower

Posted: November 14, 2007 in Daily Blog

lighthouse.jpgI don’t know about you, but this photo is one of my all time favorites. The photographer Jean Guichard has many spectacular pictures of lighthouses and surf, (google him and check out his other work!) but this one resonates with me because of the man standing on the platform looking out over, and under, waves that would annihilate him if he makes one bad move or a rogue wave decides to get him! Obviously he has done this before, but look at the potential disaster all around him!

There are a couple reasons this picture resonates with me…

I often feel like the world is raging around me so much that at any moment I will be capsized by it. I am sure you have felt the same way; a relentless crashing of wave after wave of commotion that keeps your attention so focused that you are completely drained and yet there is no hope of relief! The noise is so overwhelming that you can’t even hear yourself think, and one misstep on your part and you will be swept away. Sound familiar?

But the other reason I love this picture has nothing to do with the crashing surf. It has everything to do with the lighthouse. If you look at the lighthouse you can see that it is massive and can stand up to everything the sea throws at it. It has a deep foundation and is firmly set in place. It is a protective tower that keeps people safe. The man on the platform looks so confident in the protection this tower is providing, it almost looks as if he could spit at the see and offer a challenge to it, “You can do nothing while I am in here!” The man has a history with this tower; he knows how secure he is in it. He can stand up to anything the world throws at him, as long as he is in his tower.

What an incredible picture of hope and courage. Where do you find yourself in it? Are you caught up in the sea and the surf? Have you been dashed against the rocks by life? Are you secure in the tower, facing the waves with courage? Do you have a lighthouse to run to? Do you live your life with the protection of this kind of tower? It is available to you; you need only to decide you want to find that protection, the peace in the midst of this kind of storm. When the waves of life come crashing in around me, I know that there is One that protects me, and I find peace in Him…

An ancient proverb says…

The Lord is a mighty tower,
Where his people can run to for safety.

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for this post. My life is kind of crazy right now, and this is just the kind of reminder that I needed.

  2. NFO says:

    I found this very useful and interesting. Thanks

  3. […] 27, 2008 Daily Blog One of my most popular posts is about a photograph by Jean Guichard.  (Click Here) I have to admit I did not read the story behind the pictures until I got this comment […]

  4. diver89 says:

    dude, you are seriously naive if you think this guy survived-this is one of a series of infamous frames, before, during, and after the wave hits. this photo is famous because the man died,he went out to wave at the plane/helicopter and the wave swept him away, never to be seen again

  5. Graham says:

    diver89: The article below seems to indicate that the keepers were not killed. see the link as well.

    “As Jean Guichard’s helicopter approached the tower he was unaware that the keepers were waiting for a rescue helicopter. Guichard was simply there to take photographs of the waves pounding the structure. The keepers heard the sound of the helicopter and naturally assumed it was the rescue helicopter. One of the keepers opened the lower door of the structure and as he looked up at the helicopter and realized that it was not the rescue chopper, he also realized that a giant wave was about to engulf the tower. He immediately turned about and pulled the door closed behind him. Had he not done so at that second, he surely would have been killed. While all this was happening, Jean Guichard was busy taking photographs as fast as he could click the camera, thus capturing on film the most dramatic action shots ever taken at a lighthouse.”


  6. Deborah Kimberlin says:

    I found this poster in a mall several years ago and gave it to my sister for Christmas. I found it very thought provoking and have often wondered about the fate of the man standing guard at that lighthouse. I am pleased to find that he survived the impending disaster about to befall him. I would love to have a copy of this picture for myself to frame because I find it inspirational and always makes me think of how we really never see it coming until the last minute or second.

  7. Graham says:

    I am with you Deborah, I wish I had a copy of it to put up in my house too. Many people do, it is a popular picture!

  8. Paige says:

    I thought there was another pic that looked very similar to this and the rumor was the man died after the wave hit, this is an a mazing shot but I cannot seem to find the other lighthouse pic with the wave hitting. Does anyone know which photogragh im talking about??

  9. liam says:

    this is the best photo ever would love to have hanging in my house thanks for taking such a great photo

    liam buck

  10. Deline Simpson says:

    I am blessed to have that amazing phota haning at my beach home.

  11. Phil Clowes says:

    I watched an program on TVO yesterday. There was a segment where the photographer took a signed copy of the image to the lighthouse keeper. He’s perfectly well (not dramatically drowned as some people are claiming) He lives in a nearby community.
    He was NOT waiting for a rescue helicopter, he said he was so used to that sort of weather that he went out the door to see what the noise of the helicoptor meant in that sort of storm. He did jump back inside pretty quickly but only because he didn’t want to get wet.

    • Graham says:

      Thanks Phil! I would love to see it, could you tell me what program it was on? I wonder if there is a segment of the video on Youtube or something..

  12. karrie says:

    This picture is my all-time favourite as well! It takes my breath away.

    And yet, I could never explain why – or put it into words as you so elegantly have!

    I agree entirely with your words and thank you for your perfect interpretation!

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