Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I've always had a thing about doors.
It's the poetic image of moving though a barrier to get somewhere new.
Doors to let in.
Doors to go out.
I don't always walk through doors blithely.
Perhaps this stems from several traumatic door episodes.

Episode 1. Alaska. I was a young girl who heard a sound at the house door and assumed it was my mother coming home. I jerked the door open and found myself face to face with a moose. I closed the door quickly. Later, I fed it a carrot.

Episode 2. Alaska again. The cat was pawing at the sliding glass door and I let it in. I failed to see the live baby bird in it's mouth. The mother bird entered with the cat and the baby and there was a regular TOMMY SHAW. By the end of this episode I was sobbing, but managed to get every animal out of the house alive (thank you for helping Amy). The cat wouldn't speak to me for days.

Episode 3. Springfield, OR. I was at my sister's house and I stuck my head out the door to check on the dog. When I closed the door and turned around, my sister and all four of her kids started screaming. It seemed a huge preying mantis had lit on my head when I stuck it outside. I did what any sensible person (who everyone is screaming at and who doesn't know why only that it somehow involves her head because that is where they're looking) would do. I wiped my head on my niece's chair. It was rather traumatic for all involved.

Episode 4. This current home. My first day alone with 3 children. Little Rowan was 5 days old. Avonlea and Grant went outside to get some fresh air mid afternoon. I opened the door to let them come in, baby Rowan in arms, and urged Grant to hurry as he climbed up the ivy. When he was about 2 steps from the door he began screaming. I yanked him inside and pulled down his pants, as this was the area he was grasping. He had stepped in a bee hive. Bees went wild in our entry way. I tried to shield little Rowan. I tried to call Dave for help but threw the phone when I was stung on the hand. Brave little Avonlea almost beat me to death with the zipper of her coat trying to get all the bees off of me. Needless to say....traumatic.

So you see why I sometimes hesitate?
Why my hand pauses?
Why I love the poetry of opening the barrier, but sometimes find the result not poetic enough?

I co-owned a business for a few years called Door #1. It was an abstinence awareness venture. We spoke in high schools and youth groups on the importance of abstinence. I came up with the name Door #1 because I could tell them what would most likely happen should they choose abstinence. Any other door was a risk. Door #2 could be an STD. Door #3 an unplanned pregnancy. You just had no guarantees. Except abstinence.

Now in life I don't really have this choice. I can't abstain from opening doors and no door is mantis proof. However, I pray Matthew 7:7 over my boys at night, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Last summer we decided to go on a trip to Prince Edward Island in the fall. We planned our route and looked up houses to rent. We bought our tickets. We went to bed that night full of excitement for our trip. Somewhere around 2am I woke up with the distinct feeling that someone was saying something to me. I listened and I heard, "You didn't even ask me." We hadn't knocked. We put our hand on the knob of a door that could have opened to a moose, or worse. We prayed about it (Dave had the same conviction before I said anything about it) and we knew we were not to go.

So although I hesitate, pause with my hand cupping the knob, it's not out of fear.
For if He says open, I will.
True, there are no guarantees, except one.
That God's grace is sufficient for me, no matter what is behind the door.
And really, what could be more poetic than that?

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