Thirty-one years came and went more quickly than I would like to admit! From unquenchable energy when we first wed to creases of wisdom – okay wrinkles – as the crow’s feet around my eyes view the world. To celebrate the anniversary of those many years, last May my husband and I visited historical places marked by centuries of peoples, passing through doors that hold both told and untold stories.
Thresholds into the portals of people’s lives. I wondered who knocked. Who stood inside? Who rushed in from wintery winds, and who carried baskets full of first spring flowers? What smells wafted from the cracks underneath? How many children lived behind the hinges? What made this family laugh, and how did sorrow shift laughter to tears? What gave passersby hope? Who invited them to come in, sit down, eat, and rest?
Doors give us security, protection from cold and heat. They are open or closed, unlocked or locked, sometimes welcoming or inhospitable, giving us entrance or keeping us out.
Physical doors are often easier to navigate than the doors of our hearts. How often do you walk down the street, swing a door wide, go about your business, and then continue with the day? Every day! Doors of commerce, of work, of cars, of home, but how about the door of your heart?
Lent is a good time to ponder doors, and especially one Door.
The first spring Sunday of this year, I sat in God’s wonder as my pastor shared the open-door truth of One Man’s greatest purpose. One Door who opens on the hinges of all history. One God open to the hearts of all humanity.
His story is seamless. A lamb’s blood to cover God’s chosen people. So spread on the lintel, the top of the door and the two doorposts so that He passed over those doors – and protected the Israelite’s firstborn sons.
Fast forward to the baby born in a stable suited to lambs, who grew as a boy and a man but remained perfect in every way. An unblemished lamb. Who carried the Old Testament Passover story on His shoulders, suffered unspeakable torture under a dead weight cross, and endured the cutting licks of a Roman whip. Who winced at the humiliating press of long thorns into His already indistinguishable bloodied and brutalized brow, who let soldiers drive three inch nails into His pummeled flesh, hanging undeservedly until suffocated by every scoffing sin.
My sin. Every sin of human doors into damaged souls.
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” The Lamb whose blood was spilled to cover sin and give entrance to His world of freedom and forgiveness. The One who said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he or she will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” His amazing love is that He is the Door. Yet, He is unassuming. As your Guest, He gracefully says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” He waits for us to open His unlocked, welcoming, giving door of greatest sacrificial hospitality. Go ahead and open the door. His welcoming arms are a forever embrace.