[bl]W[/bl]e pull at the door, assuming it will open. But it doesn’t. A woman inside unlocks the glass door and opens it. We close at 6, she informs us. We had missed it by a moment or two. We accept her apology and turn around to leave. Not wanting to give up, my friend says, Shouldn’t we just tell her we know what we want and we can give her the exact cash for it?
Why not, I agree. It’s worth a try.
We return and this time we knock. The woman unlocks the door a second time and hears our plea. Sure. But be thankful it’s me this evening. Because no one else that works here would have done it. We thank her for her availability and purchase the small gift for a new born baby – the one that will swaddle her tight as she adjusts to being outside the place God knit for her.
When we leave we look at each other and realize what just happened.
We were given an open door. When it showed itself locked and we were told we couldn’t enter, we knocked. And it opened.
Knock and the door shall be open for you. Seek and you will find.
You see, this friend and I we’ve been knocking. Knocking on hearts to open and be available. Knocking on doors to receive. To receive one that is full of life. But it’s her that needs to be swaddled in safety and kept in an environment of grace.
We’ve been approaching doors for over a month believing that God would open one. But the closer it gets to the actual time of need, our doubt sits right next to our belief and we wrestle in faith.
One week is a long time, we’re told.
Our flesh wants to be provided for in advance. Before it’s even really needed. But God provides in the time of need and gives us enough for today.
His manna is always good and just enough. Do you believe it? Do we?
We’re encouraged by this truth. We lay down the burden. And just like the glass door, we return to a door we had already approached. But this time we knock, and this time someone answers. The need is spoken and a door is opened. Wide. Or maybe just enough for us to know it’s from the Lord.
I don’t believe it coincidence that in the same day we received two open doors. And I don’t believe it coincidence that the open door we received in downtown Rochester to buy a gift for a new life came right after God opened a door for us to pursue new life for one in need.
Two doors. One to walk through, one to believe through.
I am confident that the glass door was a confirmation from God. Affirming us in our efforts to receive another. And showing us that he hears our knocking and he will make a way for us to enter.
Like this situation, there will be times in our hospitality journey that our door is not the door that can open. Our home is not the one that can hold. In these times, I want to make myself available in other ways. And I don’t want to be afraid to knock on the doors of others as we seek provision. It’s a humbling process to wait on others to be available. To wait on God to open hearts. But my faith in God and even in the love of mankind has increased this week as I watched God and his people work together on behalf of another.
Being available. That’s what hospitality is about. It’s important that we discover together what this looks like and how we can help each other in the journey. Because it looks different for the mother of five than it does for the single woman. It looks different for the parents with grown children than it does for the newly married couple. Even though it will look different at different stages of our life, we are called to be present in this world and available to God’s redemptive mission. Available with our gifts, our home, our love, our possessions. Available to God. To each other. To those in need.
Even when provisions don’t seem available. Even when I’m busy. Even when I’m not sure how. Even when it’s risky. Even when I’m doubting. Even when…