What happens when you ask someone to talk with you about something important, and they say, no?
In my world, that means a door has been closed. The conversation will not take place.
Not today. Not tomorrow. And if I’m true to my “way,” then not ever.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the phenomena of doors recently. Of doors that have been closed on me that I wish I had the ability to open. Or even to have the freedom to knock on again.
If I asked you again, will you speak to me, would you change your answer and say, yes?
It’s a question I can’t ask. Well, I can’t ask this question or any question like it.
It’s a way of showing respect. Not just for another person, which it really, truly is, but also for God. It’s a way of showing my trust in God. Not that I’m asserting that God is in control of everybody’s decisions and actions, that he oversees people when they “unfriend” another person. But that I trust God’s teachings that no matter how wrong you may feel your friend may be, it is most right to respect his decision, and to honor him by surrendering to the outcome.
We do not have the right to edit someone else’s decisions.
We think we do. Most especially as modern Americans, that’s all we think of life. I have the right to tell you you are wrong.
I have the right to demand a fair hearing to my complaint.
I have the right to get what I want in life.
People yell at each other everywhere we go. In cars, they gesture wildly with anger clear on their faces, as though this action is going to move the mountain of stalled cars before them. In pharmacies, people yell at chemists who don’t have the order ready. In streets, people yell at whomever they encounter.
I wonder what a world committed to respect (and silence) would be like.
Yes, I think you were wrong, and I’m very sorry to have to say, good-bye.
What is it Jesus teaches? Do your best, and then leave, leaving the dust on your shoes behind as the only memory of you.
Dust. Sand. Dirt.
In the end, when a door closes somewhere in our lives, that’s all we have to give as a tribute to the relationship. Dust.
Respecting a closed door is, most importantly, the way of gentleness. Surrender as a way of life. A way to truly follow Jesus Christ.
Winter closes doors. We have no choice but to watch as leaves fall, flowers fade, skies darken. It brings with it the song of death.
Yet another door that, once closed, cannot be reopened.
In a way, it doesn’t matter that spring promises a new life. That we can picture how the tulips and irises will look in their garden beds.
What we experience is the closing of our hearts, the covering of our skin, the quieting of our minds.
It is interesting, and, oh, so typical of Christianity that even while we slow our footsteps to match the chilling air, Advent asks of us to search for the light ahead. We are not to watch for the star that points to our lord, we are also to be alert for the thief that comes in the night to begin the process of our ultimate undoing.
The coming of Christ, both first and second, are wondrous doors to contemplate. Doors that we may closed many times in our lives.
In fact, they are the only doors in our lives that we can knock on an infinite amount of times.
Doors that, even while closed, remain open in our souls.