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The Two Caves

February 9, 2018

There once was a man who claimed to be more than just a man. Everywhere he journeyed the crowds flocked to him, even if only to catch a glimpse. Many broke through the swelling throngs to reach him, determined to overcome any obstacle in order to speak with him, to encounter him, to merely touch the tassels of his cloak. Everyone who did found that profound healing of some kind inevitably resulted from that encounter.

 

But this man was so much more than a wise teacher. He was so much greater than the greatest guru, so much better than the best healer, so much deeper than the deepest sea. His power was not imposing or coercive. It was not power that this world could begin to comprehend, a world that has for many ages given itself over to the great deception that says sheer power, dominance through unyielding will, is the ultimate peak of life itself. No. This man came as light into the darkest darkness bearing in his very person the antidote, the truth.

 

That truth is this: Real power does not lie in exercising one's will over another. Real power lies in giving everything, ultimately oneself, up entirely for another. Humility is everything. This man exemplified it at every conceivable moment of his life, from cave to cave as it were. He was born in a "manger", a hewn cave wherein dwelt gentle creatures oftentimes ignored by a world caught up in its urgently important affairs. His first bed was the trough from which they typically ate, for it is he who sustains all existence, including them. And though his journeys would take him far and wide, he knew the journey was destined to bring him to another cave.

 

This cave was even more humble than the first, for it was entirely empty. It was cold, dark, silent. Lying there motionless, lifeless, he showed the greatest power of all. By his willing submission to death he untied its knots. His warmth wrapped round the cold tomb and utterly transformed it forever. His light forever scattered the cave's darkness. He, the Word of the Father, spoken into the silence of death filled that terrible emptiness with the eternal and resounding hope of the life that will see no end.

 

And so the two caves call to us. We need not fear, for they both contain within them the promise of our own encounter with this Everlasting Man. The first cave, the oftentimes dark, simple, overlooked corners of life where we would least expect to find meaning is now the very place in which he will teach us that worth is far greater and more important than value. The second cave, the terrifying path of death with which every other path we could choose must one day intersect, is now forever turned inside out and upside down. The cold conceals his warmth. Darkness now leads to the Light. The dreadful silence now gives way to the Song of the Son of God who draws all men to himself and who came that we might have abundant life. Fear not the Two Caves! He waits there for you.

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