Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dark Door


At this juncture of my life, doors seem to be visual teaching aids. For years my email address has been myancientdoor. Recently the message at our church was about choices, and the catch phrase was “Big doors swing on small hinges”. Then I had a conversation with a friend, and we were talking about being real, about the gift of being ourselves. This friend commented that becoming yourself is like going through a “dark door”. (When God wants my attention he puts post-its everywhere.)

Dark Door

The dark door of who we are
seems forbidding, cryptic, and enigmatic.
Across the top of the door sill, words are
etched in the ancient woodwork:

Enter here, see
Enter here, know
Enter here, be revealed

We have been told if we enter through this dark door
We will face who we truly are—
without the masks,
without the false selves,
without the walls of self-preservation.

We are indignant.
We are insulted by the implication that we might be
wearing a mask and presenting false selves.
But beneath this thin veneer we are afraid.
Very, very afraid.
Our own reality does not allow or enable us
to comprehend the ramifications of entry.
In all our worldly, short-sighted wisdom,
we believe we know what or who we will see.

Often we avoid the door.
Frightened of what we will see,
scared of what we will know,
and terrified of what will be revealed.

If we choose to enter—
through the dark door of who we think we are,
Who others think we are—we take a risk.
We gamble because others’ perceptions of us might change.
Even greater is that our own perception and understanding
of who we are will be changed.
And this is what really torments us.
It is daunting to look in the mirror and not know who we are seeing.
It is humbling to recognize that our wisdom is foolishness.

But the choice is always ours.
We are not herded down long corridors
and pushed through the door.
We are not put in a room with this door as the only exit.
Transparency is not demanded.

We are presented with the choice of opening or leaving the door closed.
But the circuitous path of our lives always brings us back.
Repeatedly.
Regularly.

This is the rub and reality of this faith we agreed to enter and now profess.
This relational faith that we have been covenanted into is about transformation.
It is about being changed.
And faith is believing that the change is beneficial and of value before we see and experience it.

God beckons us to our dark door.
He invites us to turn the knob and push it open.
We must be warned that
the heat of the portal can be intense—searing.
the light from the door can be brilliant—blinding.
the knob--cold
the stairs—steep.
the threshold—high.

What we can’t see and what we sometimes do not understand
Is that He is on the other side.
He is waiting for us to make the choice:
To be revealed not as we see ourselves,
And to be unveiled not as others perceive us,
But to be known as He knows us.
Darkness is as light to him.

On the other side of the dark door
He is waiting with a cloak of grace
To envelop us…to clothe us.

And all that we are and all that we are not
will be swallowed up in love and grace.

Please enter here.

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