I have been in a cave. Many others have been in this cave before me. Some have stayed there a long time. I have visited them sometimes while they lived in the cave. But I had never stayed in the cave. I only visited.
This time I was in the cave for many days and nights. There were nights when I prayed for the day to come. And the night passed ever so slowly. The days and nights were mixed up sometimes. I was blessed by people who came to visit me in the cave. I had never before in all my life understood what it was really like to be in the cave, to stay in the cave. To lose control of life itself, waiting for others to help me. Waiting for their kindness to heal me. Waiting for the grace of God to restore me.
Life in the cave was a time of shadows and mystery. Lacking sleep, prodded with necessities, strangers tried to help me. At times I thanked them for the small acts which gave me hope. Sometimes I saw things that were not real. Phantoms and colors that made no sense. Mysterious things happen in the cave. I went there of my own free will so I could be healed. And wonderfully kind people did everything they knew to do so I could be healed. And I was healed. And I was released to go out of the cave.
When I saw the sunlight once again, when I saw the trees and the sky, the flood of beauty was wondrous to my eyes. The songs of birds were sweet to my ears. And slowly my whole body pursued the renewal and the healing that was intended for me all along.
And now I am no longer in the cave. I am glad I could go there for help. But now I am eager to live in the real world. I know what it is to be stuck in the cave, to lose my vitality, my joy, even lose part of my mind at times.
So now the world of people, of trees, of birds and animals, and especially the kindness of friends, neighbors, and family warm my heart so much more than before. The delights of living have been returned to me. Every day is rich with possibilities. Eagerly I rise to meet the day, to share it with those who are dear to me, and with those God puts in my path. Perhaps most of all, I am grateful to God that my days and years in the light have been extended because of the cave.
Someday I will go from this world, too, to another brighter place. And perhaps this beautiful world will fade as if it were a cave, as well. I wonder at the glory still to be revealed