Good Night Lights

high rise buildings during nighttime
Photo by Irina Iriser on

We know that lights can show us the way in the dark. We know that lights brighten and refresh (think of sunlight after a week or so of cloudy, gloomy days). But have you thought about lights … encouraging?

Here’s a great news story to enjoy and to share with your kids … a story of the Good-Night Lights and how they cheer up young hospital patients.

—It all started several years ago with Steve B., a cartoonist who often visited and chatted with the kids at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. At the end of the day, he biked to the bus stop, then turned around and flashed his bike’s headlight toward the hospital. He told the kids that the blinking light was his way of saying good-night to them.

A large neon sign next to the bus stop blocked out much of his light, so he talked to the business owners and soon they were also blinking their lights. Before long a steamboat company joined in and blinked their lights from the river. Soon other restaurants and businesses took part. Every night at 8:30, the lights would blink four times – one for each syllable of “Good night, Hasbro.” At the hospital, kids would flash back twice for “thank-you.”

And then the police entered into the fun,  and on Wednesday nights they line up across the river and flashed their emergency lights. All to show the kids that they are remembered and cared for.

Now thee years later, Good Night Lights keep expanding with individuals flashing their cellphones, numerous organizations (like Brown University) taking part, businesses putting searchlights on their buildings, and kids getting their own flashlight as they enter the hospital. Parents say their children wait all day for 8:30 – the moment the dark, night sky suddenly bursts with hundreds of lights as the city says good-night to the kids. “The lights show me that people care,” one young patient stated.

Other cities are now organizing their own Good Night Lights around their children’s hospitals … “saying” good night only takes a minute or two but brings so much joy to hurting kids.

(You can read more about the Good Night Light project and the powerful effect it’s had on the community and especially the kids in the hospital … on the Good Night Lights Facebook page. You can also see some pictures of the lights on the Facebook page – the picture above is a stock photo. )

Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Are you letting your light shine – maybe not on a city street –  but are you glorifying your Father in heaven by your good works? Do others notice YOUR light? Are you encouraging  those around you by the way you live.


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