June 2, 1993
The Closed Door
(I Stand at The Door and Knock)
Harold was a quiet man in his mid-thirties, who never actually became involved in much of anything nor involved too much with anyone. He was what we many times call, a loner.
Harold lived a simple life and he never made it a habit of doing anything extra. For Harold, going to work and coming home were the basics in life, and everything else was just that, something else. Once Harold was inside of his home and the door was closed, the door was closed. Everyone that Harold saw as seen while he was out. Most of his conversations was done while he was out. Once in a while someone would call him at home or he’d call someone but conversation was never long.
Anyone that knew Harold, knew him predictably. No one bothered to visit him because they knew that once the door was closed, it was a done deal. One other thing about Harold that was labeled as strange is the fact that once he stepped on the outside, he took care of everything that was on the agenda for the outside. He’d come home with groceries, carry them inside and never go back out for anything else or to do something else. He’d take all the groceries to the door, go back and lockup his car, pull the mail from the mailbox, open the door, set everything to the right of the door, step inside, close and lock the door, never opening it again until the next day.
Much gossip went on about Harold and some folk simply wouldn’t believe that once his door was shut it was shut. So various ones had actually watched Harold go inside, close the door, and would immediately go pounding on the door. Sure enough the door would not come open.
Next door to Harold lived an elderly mother of about seventy years old. She’d often managed to get a hello or a Praise the Lord in to Harold as he was either going out or coming in. She’d become worried about Harold and prayed often for him. She’d longed to spend some time with Harold to tell him about Jesus but opportunity never seemed to present itself. In one final desperate cry to the Lord concerning Harold one day, Jesus by His Spirit showed the mother just what to do.
Busying herself following the Lord’s instructions the mother prepared a gift for Harold and carried it to his door. Sure enough predictable Harold drove up fifteen minutes later, locking his car, getting his mail, picking up his package, opening and closing the door. The mother went inside and waited.
Inside Harold curiously looked at the box. Finally opening it he pulled out a heart shaped cardboard door with a dangling cardboard key swinging from the knob. This is odd he thought.
The heart shaped door was covered with a message that read as follows.
The heart of man is a door that is locked from the inside. Nothing and no one enters until the door is unlocked, opened, and man steps aside. If this door stays closed, you will never know that I’M the bridge that carries across sins’ deathly flow. You will never know the peace that is able always to keep from all the wars and struggles of sin’s bitter blows. You will never know the joy that I cause to spring up from within; instead you’ll know sadness and gloom which are the weights of sin. You will never know the laughter that only I cause to outburst in circumstances and situations that are at their worst. You will never know comfort within, you will only long to feel the sheltering power from life’s beating storms. You’ll only feel loneliness, which is an offering of sin. You’ll never know that I’m a friend whose closer than a friend. Signed: I stand at the door and knock.
Harold was stunned. “Who could have known the wars within” he asked. Who could have known the sadness, the loneliness, the restlessness, the blows of pain and hurt, he asked?
Suddenly there was a knock. Someone tapped ever so lightly upon the closed house door. Thinking the knock was on the cardboard door Harold immediately took the dangling cardboard key and unlocked the heart shaped door. What Harold saw pricked his heart. He read the words: Hello Harold, I’m Jesus. May I come in?
Tears tinkled down Harold’s face. Come in Jesus, he cried. “Oh do come in Jesus”.
The mother was at home fixing a plate of dinner just as the Lord had told her to do. She was wondering why the Lord had her go tap on Harold’s door and not wait for him to open. Just tap softly then go back home and fix a healthy plate of that chicken and dumpling, the Lord had instructed.
After what seemed like hours, the light tapping came against Harold’s door. This time Harold ran to the door, unlocked it and opened it to find the mother standing there with a bible under her arm and a piping hot plate of dinner in her hands. “Oh please come in” Harold said opening the door wider and stepping aside.
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 he with me. (Revelation 3:20 KJV)