“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light that all men through him might believe.” (John 1:4-7)
Long ago, or maybe not so long ago, there was a tribe in a dark, cold cavern. The cave dwellers would huddle together and cry against the chill. Loud and long they wailed. It was all they did. It was all they knew to do. The sounds in the cave were mournful, but the people didn’t know it, for they had never known joy. The spirit in the cave was death, but the people didn’t know it, for they had never known life.
But then, one day, they heard a different voice. “I have heard your cries,” it announced. “I have felt your chill and seen your darkness. I have come to help.” The cave people grew quiet. The had never heard this voice. Hope sounded strange in their ears. “How can we know you have come to help?” “Trust me,” he answered. “I have what you need.” The cave people peered through the darkness at the figure of the stranger. He was stacking something, then stooping and stacking more. “What are you doing?” one cried, nervous. The stranger didn’t answer. “What are you making?” one more shouted even louder.
The visitor stood and spoke in the direction of the voices. “I have what you need.” With that he turned to the pile at his feet and lit it. Wood ignited, flames erupted, and light filled the cavern. The cave people turned away in fear. “Put it out!” they cried. “It hurts to see it.” “Light always hurts before it helps,” he answered. “Not I,” declared a voice from the cave. “Only a fool would risk exposing his eyes to such a light.”
The stranger stood near to the fire. “Would you prefer the darkness? Would you prefer the cold? Don’t consult your fears. Take a step of faith.” “He’s right,” one from behind announced. “It’s warmer.” The stranger turned and saw a figure slowly stepping toward the fire. “I can open my eyes now,” she proclaimed. “I can see.” “Come closer,” invited the fire builder. She did. She stepped into the ring of light. “It’s so warm!” She extended her hands and sighed as her chill began to pass. “Come everyone! Feel the warmth,” she invited.
“Silence Woman!” cried one of the cave dwellers. “Dare you lead us into your folly? Leave us and take your light with you.” She turned to the stranger. “Why won’t they come?” “They chose the chill, for though it’s cold, it’s what they know. They’d rather be cold than change.”
The now warm women stood silent, looking first at the dark, then at the man. “Will you leave the fire” he asked. She paused, and then answered, “I cannot. I cannot bear the cold.” Then she spoke again. “But nor can I bear the thought of my people in darkness.”
“You don’t have to,” he responded, reaching into the fire and removing a stick on fire, “Carry this to your people. Tell them the light is here, and the light is warm.” Will you share the light?
The Cave People by Max Lucado