My dog Mickey was whimpering behind the closed bedroom door. He has free range of our home and often goes into our bedroom and closes the door. There is a full length mirror on the back and he likes to look at himself. It’s harmless enough. He doesn’t tear up anything or sleep on the bed. He just lays down to wait. If it takes us too long or he hears something interesting in the rest of the house, he will let us know he’s stuck. You see, Mickey doesn’t know how to open the door once he’s closed it. He never closes it completely. There is always a small space left open.
Mickey’s litter mate Minnie knows how to open the door. If she hears him, she will go give the door a push and let him out. But Minnie can only open the door from the hallway. If she is on the same side of the door as Mickey they both have a problem. Occasionally, she will stick her nose in the gap and nudge until she can get her head through. But Mickey gets in her way making it hard for either of them to get out.
The thing about doors is they are a temporary obstacle. Even the locked ones have the possibility of swinging wide open if someone has the key. They can be opened from either side. They can even be knocked down in case of emergency. Some are made of glass, giving sight but still separating the two sides and easily broken. Some are made of much sturdier material, offering obscurity and a false sense of security.
This painting was a fixture in my home as a child. It was on the front of a big heavy Bible that I remember seeing from time to time. It is often pointed out that there is no doorknob in the painting, implying it can only be opened from the inside. But even with a door knob Mickey cannot open the door and when she does open it, Minnie never uses the doorknob. I always thought if he just put his shoulder into it that door would pop open.
I think that’s part of the misconception we have about God. If He’d just put His shoulder into it He could break through our doors and rescue us from whatever door we have closed. It’s not that God is thought of as vengeful or cruel but just absent. Where is He when children suffer? Where is He when planes crash? Where is He when….? Where is He when we close the door ourselves to look in the mirror and find ourselves stuck?
Sometimes we are very much like Mickey. Other times we have the opportunity to be Minnie. Just a little push when we hear someone is stuck may be all it takes to let the door swing open and set them free to roam until the next time.
The irony of this post is that I was interrupted half way through writing it by the arrival of the cable man. I showed him the place in the backyard where the cable needs to be rerun. I showed him where the main box is. When I saw the truck pull up I had put Mickey and Minnie in my room and closed the door firmly. I wanted them secure while he was here. They made plenty of noise to let me know they were not happy about it.
After showing the cable man where the junction box is outside I said I was going back to my office while he made some phone calls. I reached for the front door knob and, you guessed it, I had locked myself out of the house. Normally, I carry my house keys with me at all times for just this reason, but this morning I hadn’t put them in my pocket. Banging on the front door and ringing the bell got the attention of the two trapped in my bedroom but failed to rouse the teenager sleeping down the hall. Fortunately her window was open and she less than cheerfully stumbled down the hall to open the front door. Coffee refilled and keys securely in my pocket I returned to my desk and the subject of doors.
This whole post began yesterday when someone firmly slammed a relationship door in my face. It was followed by another person taking up guard duty in front of said door and taking some very cheap shots at me for trying to ring the bell. All the commotion brought out some villagers who opened their doors to me and all in all I count the day a gain not a loss.
My question to end this would be what doors are you facing? Are they open or closed? Who opened or closed them? Are you waiting for someone to open it for you? Have you forgotten your keys? Have you lost your keys?
Or are you the ingenious little dog who will stick your nose in the small opening and set yourself free?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…”