I’m standing in a hallway. There are a lot of doors opening and closing on either side, a cacophony of squeaking hinges, soft clicks and brutal bangs. As one opens, I catch a glimpse of the room inside. I’d have to see more to decide if I really want to go through it, but the glimpse is tantalizing enough to stir my curiosity.
I try to push it open further but my strength is ineffectual. It will not budge. Perhaps if I wait, it will magically unstick.
After a short while it does unstick, but the door swings shut and now it is locked.
There are so many other doors. Why am I sad about this one?
I stare back down the corridor; there is a light-dance on the beeswax-polished floorboards as doors swing back and forth, rays spilling into the hall and then disappearing. I cannot tell which lights are true sunlight. I cannot tell which are glaring neon signs that might be spelling ‘warning’ if I could see them properly.
Some doors aren’t open at all. They’re big and imposing with big brass knockers that would sound very loud in this hushed hallway. Eventually, I pluck up the courage to try one. I curl my fingers around the cold, heavy brass, and knock. A porter peers through the keyhole; tells me I will be granted entry, but I must wait. The longer I wait, the more my knees begin to tremble. What if there are monsters in there?
There’s a door that’s never locked. I pass through it from time to time; it is a familiar place, but I don’t long for it as I once did.
Some doors have been opening and closing on me for some time now. I used to walk through them and wipe my feet on the welcome mats, but now, I have to knock louder to be granted entry. My knuckles are grazed and sore, but my knocking is drowned out from other voices within. I don’t want to force my way in; perhaps I should spare my bruised knuckles and leave these doors to open of their own accord.
The doors that swing open and shut look kind of flimsy now that I think about it. They’re kind of dwarfed by the light pouring in from the door at the end of the hallway.
This door is smaller than the others, quite unassuming, but it stands wide open all day and all night. I don’t know why, really, since I ignore it so often. But there it is, welcoming in it’s quiet but persistent way. I know that spending more time in there would lessen the confusion. I’d see clearer to know which doors to avoid. I’d be given the boldness to walk through the ones that look scary.
I loiter in this hallway now, but I won’t forever. Yet no matter which other doors I may pass through, for a short visit or a permanent move; no matter which other hallways I have stood in, and will stand in, this open door of light- this warm welcome into your beautiful presence, oh Father- is constant and unchanging.
In the midst of confusion, I remember this, and I am glad.