I love doors. Old ones, elaborately carved ones, simple ones, bright ones, rustic ones…they draw my eye and peak my curiosity. A door that turns my head seems to invite me in, as if it has a story to tell. Depending on the building, I find myself checking the lock or turning the knob. I want to know the story…to answer the invitation. An old rustic door is earthy and speaks of authenticity. An intricate ornate door is a work of art and a thing of beauty. A red door is welcoming, a blue one calming. Doors are passageways into. Moving from outside to inside, where life is lived, or business is carried out. Doors lead to commerce, needs are supplied, wants indulged, money spent and made. Behind doors, nourishment is taken, relationships are built, laughter bubbles up, and tears fall. Inside doors, worship rises, truth is spoken, Spirit communes with spirit, hearts break and are healed.
Each door has its own tale to tell. Textures entice my hands to feel the surface, as if they are trying to read braille. Each carving, or peg nail, each wrought iron hinge or pane of smooth glass is a testimony of the time period and history gone by or not. It speaks of the craftsman as well as the artisanship of that day or this one. Each touch sparks imagination of what is found within, the family who lived here, or of the faith that grew strong within this structure. How many knuckles have rapped on this door? How many times has it welcomed strangers or friends? How many feet have crossed the threshold on the way from one place to another? What lives behind it? Abundance or poverty. Love or shadows. Life or death. Is it a refuge…a place of peace…a place of warmth?
Doors do not have to be elaborate to speak. Back doors can be even more alluring than rarely-used, front ones. A screen door allows the smell of biscuits and laughter of family to escape in the summer, as kids run through not stopping to close it gently. The repeated slam of the door signals the activity level in the yard while supper is on the stove.
A barn-red door offers hospitality in addition to a mountain breeze that sweeps through the house. Front and back, the doors work in tandem to provide fresh air which renews all who are within the structure. Relaxation is found. Peace is established.
Beveled glass windows distort the small noses pressed upon them. Fingerprints smear the glass as they are cupped around eyes that seek to see inside. Curiosity subsides and giggles bubble up when familiar faces arrive to allow entrance through the door and into outstretched arms.
All of this is spoken by doors, which invite us in.
The door is hewn stone. It is intimidating in its size. There are no elaborate carvings, or welcoming colors. It sits among other stones blending into the walls around it. I reach my hand out to touch the rough boulder. My fingertips graze the indentions made by hammers pounding rock into a useful shape. It stands taller and wider than necessary, and on a regular day there would be nothing to draw the eye. But this is no regular day. On this day the door is wide open. Not an easy task by any stretch. It is not the door itself that lures me in, it is the open doorway.
Shading my eyes, curiosity peeks into the room answering the invitation issued by the open door. Out of the dawns light and into the cool shade, I step over the threshold. I wait for my eyes to adjust to see what wonders lie in the cave behind this massive door. A table cut into the wall nearest me is stone cold. The space is small and I wonder what is this place? A refuge? A place of peace or of death? There is a linen sheet upon the table. It is draped across, as if someone’s sleep was interrupted….an unmade bed. What looks like a pillowcase is folded neatly at the head of the table. I cannot understand the story of the door. Rays of light filter into the room through the doorway. Shining dust floats and dances in the beams. I am mesmerized watching the dawns light creep into the space and fill it, warming it. The light seems to be singing. My skin tingles. My heartbeat quickens. I find that my feet long to dance among the stones. My arms reach for the linen sheet…twirling so that it flows in rhythm with my steps. Waving it wildly like a flag of surrender. This place inside the door is pulsing with life and I suddenly feel as if I will explode. I am breathless and I go to the floor, allowing the coolness of the stone to seep into my body. My face is to the ground and I tremble as the light increases around me. The ground shakes with the voices. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen.”
My mind opens to comprehend this story…the story of the door. This invitation…to come into. As a witness…of his death in order to be nourished, to commune, to be healed, to be free, to cry, to laugh, to speak Spirit to spirit, to worship, to belong. Then the admonition to step back out into life…to cross the threshold again…into living…into abundance…into resurrection.
Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps. 24:9