“Mom, every single door was closed! How could they meet anybody new?”
My daughter, Leah, was in her first year in college and although she requested a specific dorm for its amenities of air-conditioning and beautiful study spaces, she got the dorm that had no air conditioning, super small closet space, and “vintage” architecture (read: remodeling very much needed). Yet because of the lack of updated air conditioning, the girls had to keep their doors open to get cross ventilation to stay cool, and because of this, girls met each other, went in and out of rooms easily, and became a close-knit community before classes even started. They called it the “Open Door Policy” — not only for the air ventilation but also for the intentional way it connected people.
Later in the week, she visited the dorm she had originally requested and couldn’t believe how the doors were all closed. She said it was like a ghost town. Because of the air conditioning that the residents did not want to escape, they were left with closed doors and isolation — beautiful spaces but shut doors. It was nothing like the welcoming feel she had in her own dorm.
Sometimes when we shut the door thinking we want to save what we have, we miss out on what we can give.
That got me thinking. What kind of space do I create in my home? As fall is here and Christmas is coming, the idea of open doors is one that can often fill a heart with wild expectation or frenzied sick-to-my-stomach-my-home-is-not-clean-apprehension. This year, I want it to be the former.
I never decorate my house too much for fall. Being a school teacher, my time is taken up with getting lesson plans ready, my classroom decorated, and also trying to get my four children all with folders, pencils, and now with a child in college, a dorm room decorated. I don’t have much time for rearranging fall foliage lightly resting on the mantle. By the time I get to my house decorations, I usually go straight to Christmas decorating.
Yet, with those words, I am reminded it is not my decorations. It is not my famous Light Strawberry Cheesecake recipe (because it isn’t even my recipe – thanks, Mom). It is not my mantle candles that makes a home welcoming. I suddenly realize it is not even my home at all. It is the open door.
When a door is open, it is an invitation to come in. It is a sign that says, this is the way to walk. Come, sit with me. Share with me.
Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20 ESV)
He is the one who gives us the door to open. Whether it is the door to our homes, the door of an orphanage in another country, or even just the door we open for the person walking behind us as we shop on Black Friday — we each have doors that are open specific to us.
Invitations come to us in many ways during the holiday season. There will be open houses, cocktail parties, and company festivities that require our presence. One thing they all have in common? We are invited, and we are welcome.
In the same way, I want to invite Christ into my Christmas preparations this season. I want to open the door that He has already opened for me by the amazing gift of grace He gave me at the cross. He calls me His own, His beloved, and He wants me to open the door to my home and invite others in to feel that love from me.
That may look like inviting a neighbor I don’t know well to my home for dinner. That may look like sitting down with my children and reading a Christmas story instead of searching Pinterest for party-perfect mantles. It will look different for you. Jesus has a door for you, and each door is an invitation.
What door do you need to open today?
God wants us to open the door to our homes and invite others in to feel His love from us. - @angieryg Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Beth Williams says
It is surprising how God can work. We don’t always get what we want, but in the end we wind up loving what we got. We may want a/c, & nice study places. God knew that open door would lead to great friendships. That can be more important than comfort. My pastor & his wife purchased a home a few years ago. They decided to have the “open door” policy. Each holiday they invite people over to eat with them. We all bring food, sit around & talk. It is about having someplace to be without being alone on that day. Our little church is like that also. The big churches have platforms & large crowds. We are small in number but huge in love. We want to shower our community with Gods love. Think of the Cheers theme song: “Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same You wanna be where everybody knows Your name. You wanna go where people know, people are all the same, You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” That song describes Blue Springs Church to a tee. You come once your a visitor. Step into our doors twice & your family. We will love on & care for you. You are one of us.. We’ve all got troubles & tons of God’s grace to get us through. We are glad you came please come again!! Ours is an open door policy to love on everyone no matter what! We are Jesus for that community!
Angie Ryg says
Angie Ryg says
You, my Friend, are a kindred soul! I always sing that song! #goCheers
I love your mission for your church! Way to be an open door for Christ and His Kingdom!
Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!
Thank you for sharing!
I love that your daughter has created community! It’s so so very important! I pray that God will keep opening doors for me on this masters trip and that in the quiet, in my temperament, in my body language, in my words I exhibit parts of Jesus behaviour. The love, the patience, the clam, the acceptance, the kindness. I pray God will help me to do this for others and for myself, towards myself. I’m opening the door and walking to Jesus and God, I’m crawling into his lap tonight and asking for healing of my body and calmness of my mind. So I can be all that is good for others!
And happy thanksgiving for all those celebrating!
Please share your light strawberry cheesecake recipe! 🙂
Noel Walton says
This is beautiful Angie. It is what my soul needed this morning .