“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