Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Door

The other day I was walking into the post office. I had my hands quite full with my purse, a bag with some items I needed to mail, and a large box full of packaging noodles. Walking in front of me was an older gentlemen. Assuming that he had probably noticed me and my full load, I also assumed that he would hold the hinged door open for me as I entered. So, I looked down once more just to make sure I had grabbed everything I needed from the car...not for a second worrying about the door.

Next thing I knew, there was the door...and there was me running right into it as it closed. In my assumptions, I hadn't even thought to look and make sure this older gentlemen had seen me, or that he was holding the door open for me. Instead, I found myself juggling my packages, trying not to drop any of them.

My first thoughts were those of disgust...how could he have been so rude? Surely he had seen me..did he just have no common courtesy? As I finally pulled the door open and got myself inside where I could set down my packages (muttering and complaining to myself the whole way), I had a chance to look at this man with whom I was so angry. He was old and had that warn look of life. However, he was smiling at me and his eyes were full of love.

I was instantly humbled. Here was the beautiful old man, with absolutely no malice in his heart who hadn't seen me entering behind him. I was sure that had he known I was there, he would have held the door open wide for me to enter, and guessing from his smile he probably would have allowed me to go ahead of him in line.

On the way home, I couldn't get this incident out of my mind. I wondered, how many times I too had unknowingly let the door shut on someone behind me? Then almost as soon as that thought came into my mind, so did this scripture and picture...

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and him with me."
Revelation 3:20

This is a scripture and a picture that I am very familiar with. I have seen it many times before. I've always noticed that there was no door handle on Christ's side of the door, because it is up to us to turn the knob and let him enter our lives. However, as I pondered this picture now, I couldn't help but think that this door too must have hinges.

In order for a hinged door to remain open, it takes work. Someone has to stand at the door, holding it open...or it closes on it's own...and I was impressed that day that we are the only ones able to hold open the door to our lives. No one else can do that work for us. If and when we decide to step away, or leave the door...if even for a moment, it closes.

I've thought a lot about this since that day. I know that too often, I have been like that older gentlemen at the post office. At times, especially with the passing of Branson, I am unaware that Christ is right there beside me, waiting to come in. I go on with my life...absorbed in my grief and sorrow, my busy-ness, my anger, my questions, and at times...flat out laziness. Then, without realizing what I'm doing, I let the door shut behind me and leave Christ standing on the other side. I'm afraid that too often He's just about to enter...just about to answer a prayer...just about to abide with me in my darkest hour...or just about to comfort me with peace, and I, being impatient...not wanting to do the work, let go of the door and it shuts.

Before, I looked at the door in this picture like the front door to our homes...staying open after we answer, unless we purposefully shut it. Now, I am convinced that this door has hinges, and that because it has hinges, we have to constantly work at keeping it open. Opening the door once isn't good enough.

I am dedicated now to doing more each day to keep my door open. I am not sure exactly what keeps it open completely all the time, but doing things like scripture study, visiting the temple, praying, walking forward with faith and not fear, fulfilling my church calling, and having the courage to keep moving are some of the small things that I think at least keep it ajar.

The amazing thing about Christ, is that even when we stop working...or we become discouraged or impatient...and we let our door shut...he still waits on the other side... full of love, and understanding. As soon as we open the door again he is there. He never leaves. He is always at the door to our lives...knocking...waiting to enter.

I know that I will feel the presence of Christ, his peace, and his love more fully in my life as I work at keeping my door open.


Candi & Skeet said...

I honestly love your posts. You teach me so much and I am touched by each and every one. Thank you so much for taking the time to type your thoughts and feelings, you have no idea how much they help.
I struggle with keeping the door open. It is something that I need to work on. Thank you for the reminder, I am at a point in my life where I really needed it.

Loretta Valenta said...

Natalie~ loved this post as I do all of them. It is so true that we must work to keep that door open. It is so easy to feel like other people ought to be holding the door for us but even in the midst of trials I am seeing that it is just as important that *I* hold the door as well. Thanks for sharing you thoughts! We love you!

Michelle said...

What a great analogy! I had never thought about it that way. I want to keep my door propped open all the time!
I think about you often. Hope you're having a peaceful day. :)

Gordon said...

Dear Natalie,
I am grateful for the visit we had the other night. Thanks for listening and understanding, I love you.
I very much enjoyed your blog entry. I think it has application no matter what stage of life we find our selves. If I read and understood correctly we need to be involved in service to others and doing all the "little" things that bring the spirit into our lives. The more we think of our selves and the struggles and trials that seem to consume us on a daily basis the more we find our selves alone with Christ standing on the out side of our door. Service is such an amazing antidote for so many of the problems we face in life.
Keep thinking, your doing great, I love you.

Ashley said...

Natalie.....I just have to tell you that I really have been struggling with this exact thing lately. Feeling like I never feel comfort. Your post is exactly what I needed to hear, I now know that when I dont feel comfort, it is because I am letting my door close! Thank you for sharing that!!!!

April said...

Thank you. You always know what to say. We truly need to be more Christlike and be willing to open the door or keep it open. I hope you are doing well. Love, April

Tifani said...

That is such a poignant metaphor. I really look forward to reading your posts and all of the little insights you come up with. You have a gift for writing.

Kim Call said...

As I read about your incident with the gentleman at the post office, I couldn't help but see myself as the old man. So many times I have struggled to know what to do to "help" you and others like yourself and Robert, just unaware there was anything I could do or not seeing anyone there. Its not that I don't want to comfort or assist, sometimes I am just blind. My prayers have been that Heavenly Father will open my eyes and speak to my heart so that I will know what to do. So that I don't let the door shut on those I could help. Love you bunches....mom

Emily and Jens said...

such great insight natalie...love you...EMILY

Los Torrientes said...

Natalie, I found you through my friend, Ashley's blog. I have had several people in my life recently loose a child or husband. My heart hurts and I cry nearly every day for the pain that you and others must be experiencing. I want you to know that there is a random stranger out there who loves and admires you. Your strength and testimony is such a beauty that has taught me today as I read your tribute to your adorable son and it will continue to teach so many others. I hope you feel all of the prayers that surround you. Your son is so blessed to have you as his parents eternally. Until you hold him again, I am holding a place for you in my prayers.

Jackie A. said...

Dearest Natalie; I marvel once again at the wisdom you display and the way that you are able to express yourself so beautifully here. Thank you for your wonderful way of sharing and showing us the way. I know that Christ is always there if we "Let Him In" and that his angels are around us to, they help to lift us and carry us through and just be there for us aslo. Thank you for your brillance and light.
My Love and Admiration, Mom

ComD 438 said...

Natalie, thanks so much for sharing this profound insight with us. I loved it, and feel that you have spoken the truth.
Love ya!!