Safe at Home
March 27, 2020, 9:00 PM

What are we doing here? In our homes? In Knoxville, TN we have been placed under a “Safer at Home Order”. I have been trying to remain mostly at home for two weeks now and yes it is starting to feel like a cave. As we watch the news during this COVID-19 crisis there are still a lot of unknowns and fear abounds. Let’s go back to a cave image. Caves can be a beautiful part of nature with stalactites and stalagmites. A cave can also describe a time of loneliness and depression. 


Caves provide shelter and as we think about the shepherds during biblical times we know that they would keep their flocks safe in caves from predators and bad weather conditions. King David demonstrated grace in a cave when he found Saul and cut a piece of his robe to prove he could have had his men attack him but did not. There are several instances in the Bible where going into a cave is mentioned, but fewer instances where coming out of the cave is mentioned. There are several Old Testament people who were buried in a cave. In the New Testament we know they placed Jesus in a tomb which was a cave and three days later he came out of the cave, was resurrected and brought back to life. Proof that time in a cave can be healing. That is my favorite cave story of all time, but the second would be Elijah.


In 1 Kings 19: 9-13 we see the story of Elijah going into a cave after fleeing from his enemies.


9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


I love the imagery in this text. Can you see what is happening? When I hiked Mt. LeConte last summer on the way down there was lighting and there I stood with hiking poles in hand. You can bet I went down the mountain quickly into the safety trees. 


God was not in the wind, earthquake, and fire. He was seeking Elijah as Elijah kept going in and out of the cave. “What are you doing here Elijah?” Or “What are we doing here?” What if we are waiting for the still small voice of God? How would we change our time, our homes? How would we remain open to wrapping the mantle over our face and leaving the cave? Would that involve a mask and gloves for our protection? We have had days of coldness and rain lots of rain and yet today and yesterday the sun came out in Knoxville and we could walk outside on our porches and wave at our neighbors but remain 6ft apart. When we gobout are we listening for the still small voice?


There are lots of questions. I have asked lots of questions in this blog. Could the answer be hearing the voice of the All Mighty, the still small voice calling us…. “What are you doing here Kristen, how will you be different as you continue to serve me outside of this cave?” 


Lord, help us during this time of being “Safer at Home” to seek your guidance upon our selves, our families, our communities, our churches, our country, and our leaders. Lord,  may we hear you voice today and follow you in the way. Amen.