We all have had times of darkness in our lives. For me, music has always served as a vehicle to feel things more profoundly or navigate through emotions to an improved state of mind. For anyone who has faced a time of despair, know that you are not the first, you will not be the last, and you are not alone. I love the song, The Cave by Mumford & Sons. In fact, I love all things Mumford & Sons. Their lyrics are generally rich with literary and Biblical references, and their instrumentation is phenomenal.
When I listen to The Cave, I hear the passionate cry of hope, humanity, friendship, and God. A person going through a dark and lonely phase of his or her life who has a true friend. The friend is reaching hard for them, and won’t let them fall. This desperate person has made the painful, albeit likely the best, decision to walk away from something negative and is slogging their way back into the Light. Clawing their way back to become the person and to lead the life God intended for them. This might be someone who is reaping what they’ve sown, and perhaps finding death to be preferable to facing the consequences of their actions. The friend is reminding the fallen soul that there is no shame in being broken, and to heed the call to return to their name, as their name has been written in the Book of Life. All is not lost.
When I think of walking out of a cave on my hands, with the world turned upside down, I think of the transformation that occurs when someone has deeply come to know God and is forever changed. An existence that is not dependent upon something being upside down or right side up, but a dependence upon God alone. Some have referenced Plato’s Allegory of the Cave as well as beautiful sirens from The Odyssey in the lyrics. I think these are all relevant, and will add that when a person is truly changed from within by the love and mercy of God’s grace, the siren’s call (i.e. Satan’s uniform mastery over us) will go unheeded. Because now you want something different. You know something different. You’re living for something different. You desire something different. The warm familiar comfort in darkness of the Cave is no longer the ideal. The Light has enveloped you and calls you to greatness.