Today’s Word from Deacon Amy

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

My family is taking a little time away before busy schedules resume in the fall. We had originally planned to travel east toward Montana, but wildfires and pandemic news changed our plans and we, instead, headed west and then south. We spent a few days on the Olympic Peninsula enjoying the beauty and quiet, and then continued south to visit family for a while.

Yesterday, we toured the Ape Cave at Mount St. Helens. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time, and I’m so glad that we took the opportunity to go. The Ape Cave, named for the scout troop that first explored it in the early 1950s, is a large tunnel formed by lava around 2,000 years ago. Scientists estimate that the lava flowed for several months, perhaps even a year, creating a tunnel over 13,000 feet long. Today, the tunnel is open to tourists to explore on their own; it is suggested that you bring at least two light sources with you, as there is no natural or artificial light in the cave.

We began our tour by descending a metal staircase and walking into the cavernous opening before us. At first, there was plenty of light shining from the large entry. Very quickly, though, all light vanished and we found ourselves in complete darkness. For over an hour, we walked through the cave, marveling at the natural wonder that we were experiencing. The walls, ranging from as close as 3 feet apart to 12 feet or more, sparkled with mineral deposits. The ground was uneven and unpredictable, formed by the last traces of lava that cooled in place around the time that Christ was walking on the other side of the planet. Water occasionally dripped on us from above. Shining our lights upward, the top of the cave reached nearly 20 feet at places. Other times, I had to duck to avoid hitting my head.

At one point, we all stood together and turned our lights off. The darkness was immediate and complete. There was no light source in any direction; it would have been easy to panic. We didn’t, though, because we knew that we were not alone. I knew that if my headlamp failed, my daughter’s lantern would shine. If that didn’t work, my nephew’s flashlight would lead the way. We didn’t panic, because we were not alone.

Even in the darkest of times, even when we cannot see the light, or don’t feel strong enough to lift our own light source, we are reminded that we are not alone, and that the darkness will not last.

“It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” Psalm 18:28.

Sometimes we just need to take a moment to remember that the light is there. And sometimes we need to remember that it’s ok to ask someone else to hold the light for us.

Keep seeking the light. It is always there.

Deacon Amy