This old red door leads to a place of holiness and joy. Sometimes, when I enter it, I am carrying burdens of distrust, betrayal, anger, sorrow, grief, hostility, and/or several other forms of sin and suffering. Yet, when I turn the old, semi-rusted knob and give the door a gentle push, those burdens, those issues of mine seem to go away. I walk through this door into a place when the body of Christ awaits me.
When I enter into the sanctuary to which this door provides access, I am coming to a place where I can lift my heart to God and God will care for it. It is here in this place that I can let go the troublesome experiences I face or have faced. Here problems fade as the smell, the faint scent of incense from a past ceremony, reminds me I am here to be with God.
Since I am a member of the church were this door is, at one time I offered to paint this door. I found out that such work could only be approved by a certain group with authority and those I asked didn’t seem that interested in bringing it up at a meeting. It was a low priority even if I would have done the work and bought the paint. However, now, I am glad I was turned down. I love this door just as it is.
Why, someone might ask? Do you like getting turned down? No, I don’t. I have always wanted to do what I felt needed to be done. Yet, I have now reached an age when I can discover that being told “no” can become a spiritual blessing. Now, when I see the door, I see it as a portrait of me. This door is not the main entrance. It is a simple side entrance that is used only by a few, mostly individual who can no longer climb stairs. It is worn by the weather, the changes from hot to cold, from dry to humid or wet from rain have help the sun cause the pain to peel and fade.
This is me. I have become worn. I have become faded, but not jaded, because of the conflicts, the insults, and the betrayals I have born. I am like that old door. For just like that old door, I have a purpose. I am a believer, a follower of the Way. I am one who can be a door for others. I don’t require as much upkeep. I do not have to be ostentatious or a miasma of theological minutia. I likely will never be the main entrance again. And, for now, I am glad that those who would be facing an uphill climb can find a easier path through me.
I want to be a door like this old door, always open, always available for those who need to come and find a place of peace and prayer. Besides, I don’t think a new coat of paint would make much difference on me or the door anyway.
“I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. (Rev. 3:8 NRS)